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Understanding Cataracts

Understanding Cataracts

Do you know that while cataract is the leading cause of blindness globally, it is one of the safest eye procedures performed with lasting results? Most individuals aged 40 and above have an increased risk of being affected by this condition. In Singapore, reports show that cataract affects



of the population above
70 years of age


of those aged 60
and above


of those aged 45
and above
Normal Vision
Vision with a cataract

What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally transparent lens within the eye. It is not a growth or a film that can be peeled off. Located inside the eye, cataracts cannot be seen without a special microscope. Thus, they do not change the appearance of the eye; they do not cause discomfort. Changes may be so gradual that you are not aware of a cataract’s effect at first.


What Causes Blurred Vision?

Just as fingerprints on a camera lens cause blurred pictures regardless of our efforts to focus, a cloudy lens within the eye causes blurred vision. When the human lens becomes cloudy or hazy enough to interfere with vision, it is called a cataract. Changing glasses (focus) will not help the blur that is caused by a cataract.


What Causes Cataracts?

Some cataracts are caused by birth defects, injuries, diabetes, or prolonged use of certain medications, such as steroids. Highly nearsighted patients may develop cataracts at a young age. However, most cataracts result simply from the natural aging process of the human lens. Like grey hair, cataracts do not occur at the same age or rate in everyone.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Blurred Vision

Blurring of vision is the commonest symptom of cataracts which gets worse with time as less light reaches the retina.


It can be difficult for a person with cataracts to see in bright sunlight. Indoor lights may begin to seem too bright, or they may appear to have haloes around them.

Colour Changes

Cataracts also affects Colour vision; some colours may appear faded and objects may acquire a brownish or yellowish tint.

Double Vision

Cataracts may result in patients seeing double images.

  • Dull Vision
  • Yellow Vision
  • Blurry/Cloudy Vision

When Should Cataracts Be Removed?

The decision to have cataracts removed is elective. Because cataracts do not harm other parts of the eye, nothing needs to be done if you are not significantly bothered by symptoms. However, as activities such as driving and reading become increasingly affected by cataracts, surgery becomes a logical option to consider.

With the success of the modern implant, waiting for cataracts to “ripen” is no longer necessary. Since cataracts will not improve and will eventually worsen, there is no advantage in delaying treatment if vision is sufficiently affected and the prognosis of surgery is good. You are never “too old” to have cataract surgery, just as you are never “too old” to enjoy better vision.

3 Simple Steps To Check For Cataract


Visual Acuity

You will be asked to read letters on a vision chart to ascertain your vision.


Subjective Refraction Assessment

An assessment of your glasses prescription is done


Slit Lamp & Dilated Eye Examination

Your pupils are first dilated and examined thereafter by your ophthalmologist in order to best plan your cataract treatment

Our Cataract Surgeon

Dr Leo Seo Wei is a Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist in Singapore with over two decades of cataract experience under her belt. Throughout her career, the accomplished eye specialist has received numerous awards and valuable stints in ophthalmology, both in Singapore and the United States.


Dr Leo Seo Wei

Senior Consultant

Experience & Innovation in Cataract Care

Not all cataracts need to be removed. However if left untreated, they will continue to develop and affect your vision. Seek an evaluation to assess your cataract condition

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Dr Leo Adult & Paediatric Eye Specialist Pte Ltd

#10-04 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre,
3 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228510

Fax : +65 6737 5366
Emergency hotline : +65 9668 2229
Mon – Fri : 8:30am – 5:00pm
Sat : 8:30am – 1:00pm
Sun & PH : Closed
Dr Leo Adult & Paediatric Eye Specialist Pte Ltd

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