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Cataracts are among the leading causes of blindness in the world. Cataracts happen when the protein that occurs naturally in the lenses in the eyes starts to clump together, blocking the passage of light that the lenses focus on the retina whose purpose is to convert light to nerve signals that the brain can then interpret. Whilst most cataract treatment is successful there are times when things go wrong. Our medical negligence solicitors will advise you if you have a potential compensation claim at no cost and with no further obligation. To obtain advice from a medical negligence solicitor just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our solicitors offices. Our cataract surgery solicitors will give you concise advice on your potential medical negligence claim and you are under no obligation to proceed further if that is your wish.

Wear & Tear

Cataracts which are more common amongst people aged over 60 are the result of gradual wear and tear of the lenses of the eyes over the years. The formation of cataracts may be accelerated because of injuries to the eyes, lifestyle habits and health problems. Lifestyle habits including smoking and the intake of steroids can also lead to the formation of cataracts in the eyes. Aside from age-related cataracts, there are four other types :-

  1. Secondary cataracts which develop after the patient has undergone surgery for other eye problems or as a complication of ailments like diabetes
  2. Traumatic cataracts which form after some time as a result of injuries to the eyes
  3. Congenital cataracts which some children are born with and usually afflicts both eyes
  4. Radiation cataracts which result from the patient' s exposure to some forms of radiation


The effect of cataracts includes blurred vision, faded colours, inadequate night vision, double vision and glare. While cataract surgery is the most effective way of treating cataracts, it should not really be considered unless the patient's vision has become so cloudy that driving, reading or watching television is becoming a problem. In the early stages, the condition of the cataracts can be improved by changing eyeglasses, using brighter lighting or wearing anti-glare sunglasses. When the vision of the patient is becoming seriously impaired by cataracts it may be necessary to conduct cataract surgery without delay as, left untreated this condition may lead to irreversible and permanent loss of sight.

Artificial Lenses

Cataract surgery involves the removal of the lenses and replacing them with artificial ones. The procedure is generally painless and only takes a short time to complete. Some patients opt to remain awake under localised anaesthesia during the operation, while some choose to be put to sleep for the duration of the surgery. If the cataract surgery is successful, the patient can go home on the same day if he or she wishes to.


Cataract surgery is generally safe. However, it is not without risks, even if those problems occur rarely. Common problems that occur after the procedure has taken place are irritation, inflammation, bleeding and vision problems. One of the worst case scenarios that could arise as a complication of a failed cataract surgery is retinal detachment. Retinal detachment happens when the retina begins to peel away from the tissue that supports it. It usually happens when the patient is highly myopic and if it is not treated quickly and properly, it can lead to permanent blindness. Retinal detachment and other such complications of cataract surgery can usually be corrected. If the original surgery was the root cause of the subsequent problem it may be that there has been medical negligence and that the healthcare professionals involved are liable to pay compensation. For advice at no cost on medical negligence compensation claims just contact our cataract surgery solicitors.

Cataratct Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have detailed experience in dealing with eye cataract compensation claims. If you would like free advice without obligation just email our cataract surgery solicitors offices, complete the contact form or use the helpline to speak to UK lawyers who specialise in personal injury compensation claims. Our solicitors operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.

Cataract Information

Cataracts are clouding of the lens of the eye so that vision is obscured. It looks as though the individual with the cataract is looking at the world through a fogged up or frosty window. Cloudy vision can make it difficult to drive or to read, especially in dim light. Cataracts develop very slowly and don't affect your vision until you are well advanced in having the cataract. Over time and without treatment, however, every cataract will progress and will eventually obstruct your vision.

You can deal with your poor vision initially through using a stronger light and eyeglasses but eventually surgery is the only thing that really works. The signs and symptoms of having cataracts include having increased difficulty with night vision, cloudy or blurry vision, sensitivity to light, problems with fading or yellowing of colour, seeing halos around lights, frequently changing prescriptions in glasses or contact lenses or having double vision.

In a part of the vision, there may be serious problems and no problems in other parts of the vision. The cataract can gradually spread across the eye so that the vision becomes more and more of a problem. A cataract forms in the lens of the eye which is positioned behind the iris or colored part of the eye. The lens is what puts light and images onto the back of your eye, making the vision crisp and sharp. If there is a cataract, the clear, sharp-looking lens is cloudy and the rays of light get diffused. The vision becomes blurry.

The lens thickens and becomes less flexible over time as a part of the normal ageing process. Cataracts cause proteins to clump together so that the clouding becomes denser and denser, involving a greater aspect of the lens. One or both eyes can develop a cataract.

There are several types of cataracts, including cataracts that affect the middle portion of the lens, called "nuclear cataracts". A nuclear cataract may cause increased near-sightedness and then causes and increase in density and yellowness of the lens. You can easily see multiple or double vision. You have problems telling the difference between colours.

There are cataracts called cortical cataracts which affect the edges of the lenses. It progresses inward, eventually affecting the entire lens. These people often have problems with glare when they're trying to see something. There are also posterior "subcapsular" types of cataracts. These start in the back of the lens and reduce bright light vision and cause halos and glare problems. You can be born with cataracts, known as congenital cataracts. Certain syndromes have congenital cataracts as a part of the syndrome. They may or may not affect the vision.

Risk factors for cataracts include being of older age, having diabetes, sun exposure, drinking too much alcohol, having a family history of cataracts, having high blood pressure or exposure to ionizing radiation. Obesity or history of eye inflammation can be risk factors. Having eye surgery, smoking and having prolonged usage of steroid medications can contribute to getting cataracts.

Tests for cataracts include doing a visual acuity test to see what your vision is. A slit lamp examination allows the eye doctor to see all the structures of your eye and to see if there are cataracts present. The doctor may dilate the eyes and can use that to see what's going on in the retina. This test can also identify the presence of a cataract in the eye.

Cataracts are really only treated with surgery. Cataract surgery is done when your quality of life is affected and when you can't see to do activities of daily living. As cataracts don't damage your eye, you can wait until you are ready to have the cataract removed. Your doctor can help you define the best time for a cataract surgery.

In a cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with a plastic implanted lens. It is put in the same place as a regular lens. Sometimes no lens is replaced in the space where the old lens was but eyeglasses are used to correct the vision. One eye is done at a time and a few weeks or so are used between the different surgeries. Local anaesthesia is all that is required to have the cataract surgery.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here