The typically clear lens of your eye becomes clouded by cataracts. Cataracts can worsen over time if left untreated.
In outpatient treatment, cataracts can be surgically removed, restoring vision to nearly all patients.
A cataract is what?
When the normally clear lens in your eye becomes cloudy, a cataract forms.
Your eye views light as it passes through a transparent lens. The lens obscures your iris (the colored part of your eye). The lens’ capacity to focus light enables your brain and eye to work together to convert information into an image.
When a cataract obscures the lens, your eye cannot focus light the same way.
As a result, there may be visual loss or blurred vision (trouble seeing). Your eyesight may change depending on where and how big the cataract is.
What causes cataracts?
However, symptoms won’t likely become apparent until after age 60. Cataracts are a rare congenital condition that can affect newborns.
Cataract development is more likely if you:
- puff on a cigarette.
- reside in a region with severe air pollution.
- drink a lot of alcohol.
- have cataracts in your family.
- The frequency of cataracts?
Older persons frequently develop cataracts. Cataracts affect more than 50% of adults 80 years and older.
Can cataracts affect both eyes?
Cataracts can develop in both eyes. However, one eye could have a worse condition than the other or develop later.
What brings about cataracts?
Over time, proteins degrade and remain in your eye. Your lens may get foggy due to these remaining proteins, making it difficult to see clearly. This is a regular, unpleasant aspect of becoming older.
Cataract development may be accelerated by several factors, including:
- Steroids are a class of drugs frequently used to treat lupus and arthritis.
- Drugs called phenothiazine, including chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), are used to treat several illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
- Either eye surgery or eye wounds.
- Treatment with radiation for your upper body.
- Extending your time outdoors without using eye protection like sunglasses.
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What signs indicate a cataract?
Cataracts are a typical side effect of aging of the eye. They may eventually result in:
- Misty, fuzzy, hazy, or filmy vision.
- Driving at night while facing headlights coming at you might result in glare, which is the illusion of a halo surrounding lights.
- Prescription changes for eyewear, such as sudden nearsightedness
- Dual perception.
- A brighter light is required to read.
- Seeing poorly at night (poor night vision).
- Alterations in how you perceive color.
- Cataracts can be painful.
Cataracts typically cause no pain. However, they might be uncomfortable because they increase your eyes’ sensitivity to light.
How are cataracts identified?
Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a thorough examination if you see any cataract warning signs. The doctor will need to make your pupil bigger to see inside your eye.
During this examination, a special eye spray enlarges your pupils (the black part of the eye). Your eye is examined by your doctor while the pupil is wide open. Your doctor can assess the extent of the vision loss and look for cataracts or other problems.
How are cataracts handled?
All you need may be a new prescription for glasses or contacts if your cataract symptoms are minor. However, cataracts typically get worse with time. Eventually, your doctor will probably advise having the cataract surgically removed.
What stage should cataract removal occur?
Most people wait until their cataract makes it challenging to read or drive before seeking treatment. Both retinopathies from diabetes and changes in the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye) can require cataract surgery.
How are cataracts removed?
Cataract surgery is carried out by an ophthalmologist, a medical professional who specializes in eye health.
The method used to eliminate cataracts
During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed and a prosthetic lens is installed in its stead. The new lens is clear, specially designed to satisfy your vision needs, and shaped to fit your eye.
A cataract can be removed in about one hour. It is done with local anesthetic (medication to numb a specific area). Your doctor will administer eye drops or an injection to numb your eye. You won’t feel or be able to see the process while you’re awake.
Is cataract prevention possible?
Age-related cataract development is a common occurrence. To safeguard your eye health and decelerate the process, you can do the following:
- Give up smoking.
- To keep the sun out of your eyes, put on some sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Obtain routine eye care. After the age of 60, have your eyes dilated once every two years. If you receive treatment sooner, surgery might be simpler.