Cataract: Symptoms, Causes, and need for surgery



Cataract

Cataract is usually a visionary problem of the old age and if you are aged above 60, it is common. Your vision might suddenly start to get blurry and cloudy and you will notice a thin white film developing on your eye lens. If these are some symptoms you complain about, ophthalmologists diagnose it as cataract. Now let’s delve into the details of cataract to understand the causes and symptoms and when surgery is inevitable.

 

Cause of Cataract

A person with cataract visualizes an object as though seeing through a frosty or foggy window. With such vision, a person faces difficulty in performing day-to-day actions like reading and writing, seeing a person’s face, driving or cooking. With such blurred vision, it most certainly puts a halt to their daily activities. Cataract is easily treatable with eye surgeries and eye drops thereafter and some necessary precautions.

The eye lens is made up of water and protein and is distributed well that keeps the lens clear and lets the light pass through, But with age, the protein gets clumped up and there is an excess protein buildup in the lens of the eye. That is when the vision gets cloudy and makes it difficult to see.   

This is inevitable in old age although it is not common for everyone, even doctors cannot say why the eye lens changes with age. However, researchers have identified some factors that may contribute to the formation of cataracts.

  • UV radiation from the sun and other light sources
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Hypertension
  • Certain medications like corticosteroid 
  • Statin medications to help reduce cholesterol
  • Past eye surgery
  • Past eye injury that has affected the lens
  • High myopia
  • Family history

Some recent studies have contributed the formation of certain types of cataract to the oxidative changes in the lens.

 

Signs and symptoms of Cataract

Cataract in its initial stage starts out very insignificant and has no effects on visionary changes, but as it develops over time your vision starts getting blurred gradually.

Here are some common signs and symptoms:

  • Foggy, blurry or filmy vision
  • Sunlight or headlight from car seems too glaring
  • Night vision difficulty
  • The appearance of halos behind lights
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
  • Fading of colours
  • Nearsightedness (in older people)

 

Treatment of cataract

Cataract if diagnosed in the very first stage can be easily treated with new glasses, strong bifocals, and magnification, appropriate lighting, and medications.

When should you think of surgery?

Cataracts develop at a very slow pace. Eyeglasses and external lenses may work towards the betterment of your vision for a few years but as cataract tends to grow worse, you might need surgery to remove the film and correct your lens with an artificial one. There are different types of surgery to treat cataract like small-incision surgery, large-incision surgery, femtosecond laser surgery. Within a few days, your vision is recovered and you’ll be able to see much better within just a few days. In about two weeks, you’ll be back your normal self.

 

There is no way you can prevent cataract although there are a few strategies recommended by doctors that might prove helpful.

  • Go for regular eye checkups
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Quit smoking and reduce alcohol
  • Manage health problems like diabetes
  • Wear sunglass when going out

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