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Eye Health

Cataracts

Cataracts cause clouding of the lens of the eye leading to blurred vision or even blindness. Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of this condition and how cataract surgery can help with removal of protein buildup in the lens.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are clouding of the normally clear lens portion of the eye. This is a gradual process that can eventually impair vision.

Causes of cataracts

Cataracts are clouding of the normally clear lens portion of the eye and are associated with age, long-term UV exposure, diabetes among other factors

Treating cataracts

Cataracts are treated through quick, painless surgery to remove the clouded lens and insert an artificial replacement.

Explainer: What are cataracts?

Cataracts may progress for many years before being diagnosed. If left untreated, however, they may eventually cause severe visual impairment in the affected eye.

Symptoms of cataracts

Hazy, double or blurred vision and a milky appearance to the lens of the eye are all common signs of cataracts.

Diagnosing cataracts

An ophthalmologist will perform an eye examination to determine whether or not cataracts are present.

Preventing cataracts

Minimising your long-term exposure to harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors can slow the development of cataracts.

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Ask the Expert

Optometrist

Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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