Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, and are in fact the main cause of sight impairment across the world, especially in developing countries. Cataracts most commonly affect older people, but can also develop in younger people, and may be more prevalent in those who have experienced prolonged exposure to high levels of UV radiation from the sun. The development of cataracts can occur entirely independently of the conditions that can require people to use online contact lenses, and can affect people with no prior vision issues. Here we will look at just what cataracts are, how they are treated, and the implications of treatment for those used to wearing online contact lenses.
Cataracts are cloudy patches that develop in the lens of the eye. When healthy, the lens is clear and together with the cornea focuses light on the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. The clouding of the lens caused by cataracts has been described as producing an effect in sufferers similar to looking through frosted glass, and so symptoms include a general blurring of vision, a fading of colour perception and reduced night vision. An increased sensitivity to light can also be experienced, much in the same way that strong sunlight will glare off condensation on the windscreen of a car.
As cataracts develop over time, the cloudy patch will usually grow in size, and other cloudy patches may develop in the same eye. Cataracts can occur in just one eye, or both. When both eyes get cataracts, each growth can progress independently of the other eye, and one eye is often affected more than the other.
Thankfully, cataracts are usually treatable through some fairly straightforward and largely painless surgery, with most adults typically requiring only a local anaesthetic and sedative during the procedure. Basically, an incision is made in the eye and the clouded lens removed, with the implant of a new lens providing a replacement. Thanks to this surgery, the newly implanted replacement lens often means that many who previously used contact lenses no longer need to do so. This of course means that those who regularly bought online contact lenses prior to cataract surgery will need to have another medical assessment of their ongoing needs, and should not simply continue to buy the same prescription that they used pre-operation.