Cataract – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

CataractThe passage of the light to retina is blocked by a cloudy area in the lens of the eye which is painless and is called cataract. Retina is actually a nerve layer at the back part of the eye. It detects the light that enters the eyes and sends signals to the brain. Vision problems occur when the cataract blocks the passage of light to retina

Causes of Cataract

Age and exposure to sunlight are the main causes of this condition. Changes in eyes are a normal part of ageing. Not all these changes will lead to this condition. An eye injury, a disease of the eye, use of certain medications or a health condition like diabetes can lead to this condition. In some cases, children are born with it.

Cataract Symptoms

It mainly affects the vision.

  • Your vision may be foggy, cloudy or fuzzy.
  • You may have trouble seeing due to the glare from light bulbs or the sun. Driving at night becomes difficult because of the glare from car headlights.
  • You may require frequent change of your eyeglasses prescription.
  • Double vision in the affected eye.
  • For a short time, your near vision may improve due to this condition. This is known as second sight.

Diagnosis

A physical exam is enough for the doctor to diagnose this condition. Your symptoms and past health also helps in the diagnosis. Sometimes you may need certain tests to know whether you have a cataract or your vision problems are due to other conditions.

Treatment

Cataract Surgery

Surgery can remove the cloudy area. If the quality of life is affected due to loss of vision as a consequence of cataract, then only surgery is preferred.

Vision problems can be prevented by doing a number of things. Eyeglasses, contacts or other vision aids can be used to manage this condition. Always Keep your prescription of your eyeglasses or contacts up to date.

Requirement for surgery depends on the effects this problem causes for your daily activities like driving and reading. Cataract surgery usually works well in most cases. But it is not compulsory in all cases.

Prevention

No proven method exists that prevents this condition. But doing certain things can help to slow cataract growth. Wear a hat or sunglasses when going out in the sun.  Avoid smoking. Eat healthy foods and keep your blood sugar levels under control. It’s also best to avoid sunlamps and tanning booths.

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