Good Vision For Life - Cataracts

Good Vision For Life - Cataracts

Posted by Dr Leisa Schmid PhD Optometrist on the 18th of May, 2016

Part 1 - Cataracts

A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens inside our eye. The lens sits behind the iris (coloured part of the eye) and is usually clear. There are a number of causes of cataract formation.

These are:

1. Congenital cataract – babies can be born with a cataract and early intervention is required to restore vision.

2. Traumatic cataract – any eye injury either from a penetrating object or from blunt trauma (such as being hit in the eye with a ball) can result in cataract.

3. Secondary cataract – cataract can form in association with other eye disease such as intraocular inflammation or in association with systemic diseases such as diabetes.

4. Age-related cataract – cataract formation occurs with increasing age and this is the most common type of cataract.

Cataracts make the vision go cloudy or blurred and this cannot be improved with glasses. Other symptoms include reduced night vision and trouble with glare from lights.  Cataract surgery is the most common type of eye surgery performed in Australia.  In 2013–14, there were 229,693 admissions for Cataract extractions in Australia (AIHW 2015).  The surgery is usually performed as day surgery. It commonly involves making a small (2mm) incision into the eye. Phacoemulsification is the name given to the technique used to break up the lens material and remove it from the eye. A new clear artificial lens made out of an inert plastic is then inserted into the eye. The power of the new lens is selected to improve the vision without glasses.  Timely cataract surgery has been seen to greatly reduce the risk of falls in elderly patients and improve quality of life.

This is general advice only and does not replace having regular eye examinations.


Dr Leisa Schmid PhD Optometrist

LensPro Brisbane City

Shop 106A, Level E

The Myer Centre

91 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Tel: 07 3012 9099 Fax: 07 3012 9466


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