Cataract

A cataract results when the normally transparent lens of the eye clouds, blurring vision. Most cataracts are age-related, advancing slowly and progressively until functional blindness occurs.

Cataract can be successfully treated through a surgical procedure that removes the damaged, natural eye lens and replaces it with a permanent, intra-ocular lens implant. The procedure has over a 90 percent success rate. After refractive errors, cataract is the most common vision disorder.

 

Classification

  • Subcapsular cataract(occurs at the back of the lens)
  • Nuclear cataract(forms deep in the nucleus of the lens)
  • Cortical cataract(occurs in the lens cortex)

CAUSES

  1. Aging
  2. Diabetes
  3. Eye inflammation
  4. Eye injury
  5. Family history of cataracts
  6. High farsightedness
  7. Long-term use of corticosteroids (taken by mouth)
  8. Radiation exposure
  9. Smoking
  10. Surgery for another eye problem
  11. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light(sunlight)

Symptoms And Signs

  • Adult cataracts develop slowly and painlessly.
  • Vision in the affected eye or eyes slowly gets worse.
  • Mild clouding of the lens often occurs after age 60, but it may not cause any vision problems.
  • By age 75, most people have cataracts that affect their vision.
  • Being sensitive to glare
  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light
  • white, wedge-like opacities
  • Double vision
  • Loss of color intensity
  • Problems seeing shapes against a background or the difference between shades of colors
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Decreased vision, even in daylight
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription

Investigations

  1. Standard eye examination
  2. Slit-lamp examination

Treatment

Surgery

The main treatment for a cataract is surgery to remove it.
        If a cataract is not bothersome, surgery is usually not necessary

Self-Care—

  1. Better eyeglasses
  2. Better lighting
  3. Magnifying lenses
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Changes around the home (to avoid falls and injuries.)

Complications

  1. Permanent vision problems.
  2. Hyper-mature cataract

Prevention

  1. Control cataract causing diseases
  2. Avoid exposure to causative factors
  3. Wear sunglasses outside during the day(to filter out UV rays)
  4. Stop smoking

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