Cataracts are the clouding of your eye’s generally clear lens. The majority of cataracts gradually worsen over time, producing symptoms including hazy vision. In outpatient treatment, cataracts can be surgically removed, restoring vision to nearly all patients.
How typical are cataracts?
Older persons frequently develop cataracts. Cataracts affect more than 50% of adults 80 years and older.
What causes cataracts?
Around the age of 40, cataracts typically begin to develop. However, symptoms won’t likely become apparent until after age 60. Cataracts are a rare congenital condition that can affect newborns. If you:
- Smoke cigarettes, you run a higher risk of developing cataracts
- Reside in a region with severe air pollution
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Have cataracts in your family
What causes cataracts?
Your eye’s lens is primarily made of water and proteins. 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, a class of drugs frequently used to treat lupus and arthritis
- Either eye surgery or eye wounds
- Treatment with radiation for your upper body
- Extending your time outdoors without using eye protection like sunglasses
What signs indicate cataracts?
Cataracts are a typical side effect of ageing of the eye. They may eventually result in clouded, blurry, foggy, or filmy vision.
- Sensitivity to harsh lighting, such as headlights or bulbs.
- Glare, particularly at night when oncoming headlights are present.
- Alterations in eyewear prescriptions, such as abrupt nearsightedness.
- Dual perception
- A brighter light is required to read
- Seeing poorly at night (poor night vision)
- Alterations in how you perceive color
How are cataracts identified?
If you are experiencing any indications of a cataract, schedule a comprehensive examination with an ophthalmologist. Meanwhile, to view inside your eye, the doctor will need to enlarge your pupil. A special eye spray widens your pupil during this test. Your doctor examines the condition of your eye while the pupil is wide open. Your physician can determine how much of your eye is affected by cataracts or other issues.
How is a cataract treated?
It’s possible that all you need is a new prescription for glasses if your symptoms are minor. However, cataracts typically get worse with time. Eventually, your doctor will probably advise having the cataract surgically removed.
When should cataracts be surgically removed?
Most people wait until a cataract impairs their vision to the point where it becomes difficult to read or drive. Moreover, the retina can change with age or develop retinopathy from diabetes. However, both of these can necessitate cataract surgery.
What varieties of cataract surgery are there?
There are two methods for removing cataracts:
Cataract surgery with phacoemulsification
The most popular cataract treatment is phacoemulsification. To access the clouded lens, your ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the eye. Your ophthalmologist separates the lens using a laser or high-frequency sound waves. After removing the lens shard from your eye, the doctor inserts a new plastic lens.
Cataract surgery with extracapsular methods
In the event that the phacoemulsification technique is not a suitable fit for you, your doctor may advise this treatment. An advance cataract, for instance, can be too dense to easily break apart. Your ophthalmologist creates a larger opening in the eye during extracapsular cataract surgery. Your doctor removes the lens in one piece as oppose to first splitting it up before removing it. The surgeon then inserts the synthetic lens.
Is cataract prevention possible?
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-brim hat
- Obtain routine eye care
It’s common to experience some vision issues and cataract development as you age. However, you are not obligate to put up with it. One of the safest and most efficient surgeries carry out in the United States is cataract surgery. It happens quickly and is not too painful. 90% of those who receive it regain their clear vision, and problems are rare.