Cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens that lies inside the eye. Visual loss occurs because the opacification of the lens obstruct light from passing and being focused on the retina. This causes a gradual blurring of the eyesight and could make your everyday activities difficult (reading, driving, recognising people from a certain distance). Generally colours appear faded, while glare could occur in presence of bright light.
Usually cataract is due to biological ageing, but it could develop also in young people, both spontaneously and because of several local or general conditions, the most common one being diabetes.
Diagnosis has to be made by an ophthalmologist by means of a complete eye test.
In the last years cataract surgery has become more and more a refractive surgery, correcting not only the opacification of the lens, but also the residual visual disorder, such as myopia, hyperopia, as well as astigmatism.
The operation lasts about 10 minutes, it is an outpatient surgery and it is performed under local anaesthetic (a few drops of anaesthetic eye-drop). However an anaesthetist is present throughout the surgery and checks the condition of the patient, providing sedation if needed or in case of particular stress of the patient, in order to guarantee the best condition.