A cataract is when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy or misty. The lens of the eye should be clear in order for your eyes to work properly. Light passes through the lens to reach the retina at the back of the eye, which enables you to see clearly. When you have a cataract, less light can reach the retina, so your vision is affected.

At the beginning, you will hardly experience any visual symptoms associated with the cataract and is considered in most cases to be slowly progressive. 50% of the population over 60 years old will have some presence of cataract.

As a guideline, you should come and see us at John Lewis Optician if you have any of these symptoms:

  • your eyesight is blurred or misty
  • you find lights too bright or glaring
  • you find it harder to see in low light
  • colours look faded

If you wear glasses, you may feel your lenses are dirty and need cleaning, even when they don’t.

Cataracts aren’t usually painful and don’t make your eyes red or irritated, but they can be painful if they’re in an advanced stage or if you’ve got another eye condition.

When you visit us we will carry out a thorough eye examination, including a visual acuity exam, which measures how well you see at various distances. If our optometrist thinks you have cataracts, you may be referred to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) for more tests and treatment.