A cataract is a clouding of the lens that reduces the clarity of the vision so that people see through a haze and there may be an increase in sensitivity to glare so that halo’s appear around bright lights. There may also be a loss of contrast and trouble distinguishing colours as the lens becomes more yellow with age e.g. it may be difficult to tell the difference between similar colours such as navy blue and black. In advanced stages it can be harder to read as the printed letters can appear faded and not as distinct.
Some factors can increase the risk of cataracts such as excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking and high cholesterol. In a usually safe and successful short cataract operation, the cloudy lens can be replaced with a plastic lens to remove the cataract symptoms. Cataract surgery has a high success rate in normal eyes. There may be a need for distance and reading glasses once the plastic lens is in place as it will not have the accommodation of the eye’s normal lens.