What Are Cataracts?

In a normal eye, the natural lens is clear. This allows light rays to pass through and helps us to see clearly. When someone starts developing cataracts, their natural lens becomes cloudy.

That being said, as cataracts progress, vision becomes increasingly worse. As a result, daily activities such as watching television or reading newspapers may become challenging. 

When deteriorating vision begins to affect one’s daily life, a cataract surgery may be recommended. This surgery is a 20-min procedure that removes the cloudy lens and also helps to correct myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Cataract Symptoms

Symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Seeing glares and haloes, especially in dimly lit areas
  • Colours becoming more dull or less vibrant
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Frequent changes in glasses prescription
The majority of cataracts are not visible to the naked eye. However, as cataracts progress and become increasingly dense, it is possible that they can make the pupil appear white.

What Causes Cataracts?

The most common cause of cataracts is aging. Other, much less common, causes include genetic predisposition, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, usage of certain medications, damage from UV rays, and previous trauma to the eye.

Cataract Clouding of Lens Asia Pacific Eye Centre
Asia Pacific Eye Centre APEC Cataract Symptoms Vision Before And After

In Singapore, 78.6% of people over 60 Years Old have cataracts

‘In Singapore, the percentage of elderly patients affected by cataracts is about 78.6%. The number of people affected increases as they get older (It affects 63.6% of people between 60 and 64 years, and 94.6% of people 75 years and older.)’ [1]

If you are in a higher risk group for cataract, it is best to go for regular eye screening (every 6 to 12 months).

As per current regulations, cataract surgery is Medisave-claimable for an amount of up to $2,450 per eye. If your insurance policy covers cataract surgery, you may be able to claim the full amount. Check with your insurance agent for more details.

Different Types of Cataracts

There are three main types of cataracts. A person may develop one or more types.

  • Nuclear (or nuclear sclerotic) cataracts form deep in the nucleus (central portion) of the lens. Oftentimes, they are caused by aging.
  • Subcapsular cataracts form beneath the lens capsule. They can be caused by steroid medication use or diabetes.
  • Cortical cataracts form in the lens cortex. They appear white and wedge-like.

When Should I go For Surgery?

In general, it is recommended that one goes for surgery when cataracts begin to cause inconvenience in one’s daily life. If you have been noticing increasingly worse symptoms, it is best to consult an eye specialist. 

Do not wait too long to seek treatment. At the hypermature stage, cataracts become harder and more difficult to remove. As such, having surgery at a hypermature stage poses higher risks.  

Is There Any Way To Prevent Cataracts? Are There Any Other Treatments?

There is no scientifically-proven way of preventing cataracts.

Currently, surgery is the only treatment option.

If you are interested to learn more about the surgery, head over to our cataract surgery page. There you can find more in-depth information regarding topics such as recovery time, surgical process, and choice of intraocular lens implants (IOLs).

Why Choose Us

Established. Experienced. Trusted.

Years in Operation
0 +
LASIK & Cataract Cases
APEC Asia Pacific Eye Centre Technology


APEC believes in continuous innovation, we regularly update our medical technology according to the latest industry developments. 

APEC Asia Pacific Eye Centre Trust Icon


Rest assured in the hands of experienced doctors with many years of surgical experience, as well as seasoned nurses and optometrists.

APEaC Asia Pacific Eye Centre Touch Icon


APEC’s reputation is one that has been built around experience and trust, as evidenced by our large pool of referral patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cataracts are a common disease that can be treated easily. They are not a serious illness but if left untreated they can affect your vision over time.

Cataracts can be caused by a variety of reasons, including heredity, smoking, excessive sunlight exposure, certain drugs, and medical diseases such as diabetes. Cataracts may also develop if you have eye injuries or have done any surgery on your eyes.

Once you are diagnosed with cataract symptoms you will not be able to stop it from developing. However, with the help of regular eye exams, you will be able to monitor the progress and remove the cataracts by undergoing surgery.

There is no proven method to prevent cataracts, but various lifestyle habits may help reduce their progression. These include avoiding direct sunlight, not smoking, eating a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet, and controlling illnesses such as diabetes, which can contribute to cataract formation.

Currently, the only effective cataract treatment is surgery. However, vision aids such as glasses or contact lenses may assist in managing cataract symptoms in the early stages.

Using prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses may help improve vision in the early stages. However, as cataracts develop, cataract treatment surgery is frequently the most effective treatment option.

Cataracts, if left untreated, can deteriorate vision, making daily activities difficult.

Yes, cataract surgery is a safe and common operation that can effectively restore eyesight.

The procedure normally takes about 15-20 minutes. Patients are usually able to resume normal activities within a day or two, with full recovery expected in a few weeks.

No, once a cataract is removed, it will not return. However, some individuals may have posterior capsule opacification (PCO), a darkening of the capsule that holds the intraocular lens. This is simple to treat with a laser operation.

Cataract Screening & Testing

Cataract/Glaucoma/Age-Related Macular Degeneration Screening – $200 (subjected to 9% GST)

( Inclusive of Consultation with Doctor )

  • Visual Acuity/Refraction
  • Eye Pressure Check (Tonometry)
  • Corneal Thickness Measurement
  • Optic Nerve & Macular Scan/Optical Coherence Tomography (Nerve & Macular)
  • Optic Nerve & Retinal Photography
  • Doctor’s Consult