Cataract is the word used to describe clouding of the natural lens of the eye. Cataracts are very common, with most people developing them by the age of eighty. Surgery is only indicated where the cataracts are causing symptoms or handicap. Typical symptoms include difficulty reading normal print or recognizing people. Cataracts can reduce eyesight enough to prevent driving.
Cataract surgery is the commonest operation undertaken in the UK. Surgery is usually performed under a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. Most patients are back to normal within a few days of surgery (although overseas travel and swimming may be barred for a fortnight following treatment).
Modern cataract surgery can reduce dependence upon glasses.