Cataracts are described by a clouding that grows on the crystalline lens of the eyes that leads to clarity changes hence visual loss. It is an eye disorder that can affect either one or both eyes, but it does not spread from one eye to the other. The eye lens consists of protein contents that are neatly arranged, the clouding begins to develop when the protein contents stick together. When this occurs, the arrangement of the protein contents is broken and the eye loses its transparency.

The main factors that can cause cataracts include: exposure to ultraviolet rays that may damage the lenses protein; exposure to sunlight can lead to senile cataract; smoking of cigarettes may also damage the proteins in the lens; lack of certain vitamins like vitamin C or E; lack of antioxidants like selenium; beta-carotene or lycopene and lastly, various medications such as phenytoin, corticosteroids and cholesterol lowering medications. Other risk factors include; alcohol, age, health problems like diabetes, family history and eye injuries such as cuts, chemical burn, puncture or intense heat.

There are different types of cataracts which are classified depending on their causes or location. They basically include the following. According to their causes there is, congenital cataract which develops during childhood or a child may be born with it. Radiation cataract that develops after a person is exposed to various radiations intensities.

Traumatic cataracts occur after an eye injury and lastly secondary cataract that may occur after a sophisticated eye surgery of other eye problems i.e. glaucoma. Classification according to location: nuclear cataract is the form that affects the central portion of the lens; the cortical cataract is a form of cataract that occurs on the lens cortex making the opacities to be visible; Subscapular cataract is the type that develops at the interior or posterior portion of the capsule. The only effective treatment of most of the eye cataracts conditions is surgery.

Cataract Surgery at Sydney Eye Hospital