Acquired cataracts is a form of progressive ocular disease. Complications include blindness (typically preventable blindness) & secondary glaucoma in some cases if not treated.
Risk factors for acquired cataract:
- Ageing in the primary risk factor
- Ocular diseases (E.g., Chronic uveitis)
- Systemic diseases (E.g., Diabetes mellitus)
- Congenital anomalies (E.g., Marfan syndrome)
- Drugs (E.g., Corticosteroids)
- Eye Trauma
- Others (E.g., Prolonged UV exposure)
Certain eye diseases that may cause earlier onset of acquired cataract include diseases such as Chronic anterior uveitis, High (pathological) myopia, Retinitis pigmentosa, Retinal detachment , Uncontrolled diabetes etc.
Drugs & Medications that may cause cataracts:
- Long term use of corticosteroids
- Drugs used in Glaucoma management (E.g., pilocarpine)
In early stages, it may not be obvious but with time you may experience certain signs and symptoms such as:
Posterior Subcapsular Cataract
What is this?
Water vacuoles, clefts, spokes and wedges appearance in lens cortex
Granular opacity just in front of the posterior lens capsule
Patients may find that their near vision has improved and less need for the use of reading glasses.
Patients may find that their distance vision has improved and less need for the use of (distance) spectacles.
General blur in vision.
Reduced distance vision
Glare in bright lights
Glare during night time
Colours appearing paler than it should be
What is dry eye syndrome?
Other symptoms include:
– “Foggy vision”
– Seeing ”halos” around lights
– Frequent changing in spectacles and contact lens prescription
– Double vision in one eye
– Reduction in contrast sensitivity
When should you schedule an eye examination with United Eyecare?
Should you notice any of the signs & symptoms stated above.
– Encountering difficulties with far and near visual tasks.
– Poor vision, unable to see well
– Glare that affects your quality of life especially when doing daily activities such as driving
– When it is time for your annual eye examination (especially if you are above 60).
Second sight of the aged → Since nuclear sclerosis is often associated with myopic shift (Patients may find that their near vision has improved and less need for the use of reading glasses.) in refraction, some elderly patients (with previously presbyopic correction) may consequently be able to read again without presbyopia spectacles. This is known as ‘second sight of the aged.’
How to protect yourself from cataract:
– Use an umbrella or cap when outdoors.
– Use sunglasses with UV protection.
– Ensure that your spectacle lenses have UV protective coatings on both sides of the lens.
– Have a healthy diet (to prevent systemic diseases such as diabetes).
– Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
What can I do if I have been diagnosed with cataract that does not require surgery yet?
– Use brighter lights when doing near work (E.g., reading lamp).
– Avoid driving at night especially if you experience halos, glares or night vision problems.
– Update your spectacle or contact lens prescription to maximise your visual performance.
– When your vision can no longer be corrected with the up-to-date eyewear or if you feel
that it is affecting your daily life, do consider cataract surgery by discussing with your
Bedinghaus, T., 2020. Types Of Cataracts By Location And Origin. [online] Verywell Health. Available at:
<https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-cataracts-3421562> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Boyd, K., McKinney, J. and Turbert, D., 2020. What Are Cataracts?. [online] American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Available at: <https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Health.ny.gov. n.d. Types Of Vision Problems. [online] Available at:
16 January 2021].
Hesed Eye Specialists. n.d. Cataract – Hesed Eye Specialists Singapore. [online] Available at:
<https://eyedoc.sg/cataract/> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Lloyd, B., 2008. When Things Appear Clear But Different. [online] WebMD. Available at:
<https://blogs.webmd.com/from-our-archives/20081118/when-things-appear-clear-but-different> [Accessed 16
Moretosee.org. n.d. Treating Cataracts | Moretosee. [online] Available at:
<https://www.moretosee.org/getting-treatment> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Optometrist | Optical Shop. n.d. What Is Glare? – Optometrist | Optical Shop. [online] Available at:
<https://www.malayaoptical.com/what-is-glare/> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Root MD, T., n.d. Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract (Video) – Timroot.Com. [online] TimRoot.com. Available at:
<https://timroot.com/nuclear-sclerotic-cataract-video/> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Sarkes, M., 2018. Optometry Case Study: Posterior Subcapsular Cataract – Spectrum ANZ. [online] Spectrum ANZ.
Available at: <https://www.spectrum-anz.com/optometry-case-study-posterior-subcapsular-cataract/> [Accessed 16
Seltman, W., 2020. A Visual Guide To Cataracts. [online] WebMD. Available at:
<https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/ss/slideshow-cataracts> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Versant Health. 2018. What Glare Is And How It Can Hurt Your Vision – Versant Health. [online] Available at:
<https://versanthealth.com/blog/understanding-glares-effect-on-your-vision/> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Seriousreaders.com. n.d. Reading Lights For Cataracts. [online] Available at:
<https://www.seriousreaders.com/categories/high-performance-reading-lights-for-cataracts> [Accessed 16 January
Snec.com.sg. n.d. Common Symptoms Of Low Vision. [online] Available at:
on-Symptoms-Contrast-sensitivity-and-Glare.aspx> [Accessed 16 January 2021].
Snec.com.sg. n.d. Halos Around Lights. [online] Available at:
16 January 2021].