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Cataracts: Causes and Treatment Options

 

 

Cataracts are changes in the eye that demean visual quality. It obstructs passage of light in to the eye and grows slowly to cause vision loss and can make one blind if not treated. The problem can also be defined as the clouding of the eye lens causing sight problems. A cataract can occur in one eye or both, but can not transfer from one eye to the other. What happens mostly is that it starts in one eye first, then other later. This ailment is related to age, where you find it more common among older people compared to the young ones.

Though most cataracts are caused by aging, there are other types not related. One of these other forms is secondary that usually develops after an eye surgery not related. Others can develop after eye trauma; others are radiator, because of a lot of exposure to light. Some people are also born with it, but its effect at childhood is minimal and rarely affects sight.

cataractsThe problem is most common on older people. The risk of contracting the ailment also increases as one gets older. People suffering from diabetes are also at the danger of contracting the disease. Use of steroids also raises the chance of being affect by the problem. Another cause of the problem is smoking and use of alcohol. Prolonged exposure to light also increases the chance of having the problem. This is caused by the ultra violet rays, which are generally harmful to human health.

The problem can be dealt with to some extend by protecting your eyes. You should for instance wear sun glasses so that they can minimize direct entry of the ultra violet rays in to your eyes. Wearing hats can also help in protection against too much light. Asthmatic people can not stop use of steroids, but they need to undergo regular check up to ensure that the inhalers are not affecting their eyes or vision.

When one has an eye problem early in life, it is important to get it treated and that way you will prevent yourself from going blind once cataract hits your eyes. Good nutrition is also helpful; aging people should take a lot of fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables contain vitamins that will ensure good eye sight. You should avoid fats and salt, as they contribute to increase in intensity of the ailment. Since prevention is better than cure, one should also stop taking alcohol and smoking, and if you have to take them, it should be done in a responsible manner. Diabetic people should control the blood sugar by maintaining it at the normal level. Blood pressure should also be kept at normal while at the same time engaging in a lot of exercises like jogging and weight lifting.

To be on the safe side, one needs to know the symptoms of the problem. The most common sign is when ones sight is not clear. If you experience blurry vision, it is better to get tested early and start the treatment. Another sign is fading of colors, some people might it find it hard to see certain colors and this can be cataract effect. Glare or poor night visions can also be a cause of the same. The problem can also be detected when one is experiencing multiple visions in one eye. It is important to see an eye professional if experiencing the above symptoms because there are other eye ailment with the same symptoms.

The problem can be diagnosed through a number of eye tests. These tests are undertaken to also learn the structure and health of the eyes. One of these tests is performed to see how well you can see at different distances. It is aimed at determining your visual ability and the corrective measures that need to be taken. Another test is done to dilate the pupil and check for any damages in the retina or optic nerve. It can also detect other eye problems. The test is done through use of a magnifying lens and numbing of the eye to prevent pain during the check up.

Information courtesy of: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/

How can cataracts affect my vision?

Age-related cataracts can affect your vision in two ways:

1.Clumps of protein reduce the sharpness of the image reaching the retina.
The lens consists mostly of water and protein. When the protein clumps up, it clouds the lens and reduces the light that reaches the retina. The clouding may become severe enough to cause blurred vision. Most age-related cataracts develop from protein clumpings.

When a cataract is small, the cloudiness affects only a small part of the lens. You may not notice any changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to "grow" slowly, so vision gets worse gradually. Over time, the cloudy area in the lens may get larger, and the cataract may increase in size. Seeing may become more difficult. Your vision may get duller or blurrier.

2.The clear lens slowly changes to a yellowish/brownish color, adding a brownish tint to vision.
As the clear lens slowly colors with age, your vision gradually may acquire a brownish shade. At first, the amount of tinting may be small and may not cause a vision problem. Over time, increased tinting may make it more difficult to read and perform other routine activities. This gradual change in the amount of tinting does not affect the sharpness of the image transmitted to the retina.

If you have advanced lens discoloration, you may not be able to identify blues and purples. You may be wearing what you believe to be a pair of black socks, only to find out from friends that you are wearing purple socks.



The problem can be corrected through surgery. The operation removes the cataract and is usually the only way to restore or improve sight. The surgery is safe and very effective in removing the cataract. It involves removal of the hazy lens and replacement with an artificial one. After the surgery, one might need to use glasses before the sight can be completely healed. Some people might however see well after the operation but glasses make you see well. The sight does not however become normal immediately after the surgery, some people might still have blurred vision for some time, but it eventually returns to normal. The surgery is of different types, the difference being in the depth of the incision made. People having problems during the surgery can be helped through use of soft lens or are given glasses with higher magnification.

When the problem is discovered early, there are other non-surgery measures that can be used to correct the sight. One of the methods is use of anti-glare sunglasses. These sunglasses prevent excessive light from entering the eye. Magnifying lens is also useful when one has the problem of seeing distant objects and those coloring problem. Surgery is adopted when these other measures have failed to improve the condition.

When one notices the symptoms of cataracts before LASIK, they should avoid LASIK treatment because the problem can be corrected through the cataracts surgery. LASIK corrects near and farsightedness, which can be corrected by cataracts but LASIK, cannot correct the cataracts problem. Intraocular lens used in cataracts surgery can correct vision. Having LASIK surgery before cataracts surgery may bring about complications but can not make the cataracts surgery completely impossible. It is advisable that one get a cataracts surgery prior to the LASIK surgery. When choosing a surgeon to perform the surgery, you should get one who has experience in both LASIK and cataracts surgery. This will ensure that nothing goes wrong during the process and you are not risking your sight by undertaking the surgery.


Lens Replacement - People suffering from cataracts can have lens replacement surgery to deal with the problem and eliminate the clouding in their vision.

 

 

 

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