Age-related cataracts

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Around 200,000 cataract operations are performed in the UK each year. It is an operation that improves your sight so that you can go about your daily life.

Here, we draw attention to symptoms that suggest you might have the beginnings of a cataract. We also

  • briefly explain the stages leading up to an operation and what happens afterwards and suggest some questions you may want to ask the ophthalmologist (eye specialist) if you are thinking of having a cataract operation; and
  • suggest where you can find out more about cataracts and their treatment.  

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of part of your eye called the lens and can develop in one or both eyes.

The lens is normally clear and helps focus light on the retina at the back of your eye to form a sharp image. This image is sent along the optic nerve to your brain where it is translated into a picture. Over time the clouding becomes more dense and bigger as the cataract develops. The cloudier the lens becomes, the less sharp the image and the greater the effect on your sight.

Age-related cataracts are the most common type and it is not known for sure how or why cataracts form or why your risk increases as you get older.

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Age UK Advice:
0800 169 6565

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