Cataracts are formed when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy.

This is a gradual process that usually happens as we get older.

If you have cataracts you may notice that your vision is less clear. Car headlights and streetlights can become dazzling, and you may experience difficulty moving from shade to sunlit areas. Colours may become faded or yellowed.

The main cause of cataract is ageing and most people will eventually develop a cataract in both eyes, although one eye may be affected before the other. Smoking and prolonged exposure to UV light also increase your risk of developing cataracts. Stopping smoking and wearing good-quality sunglasses may provide some protection against cataracts, as well as other eye conditions.

The only proven treatment for a cataract is surgery. If the cataract gets to the stage where it affects your sight and day-to-day life, your optometrist will refer you to a hospital to have this done. This involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear plastic one. The surgery is normally carried out under a local anaesthetic and has a very high success rate.