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Cataract

  • June 22, 2020
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‘Cataract’ is a condition of the eye when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy interfering in vision. June is observed as the month for cataract awareness by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The lens helps to bend light rays that enter the eye to form images. In cataracts, tissues within the lens break and clump together making it less flexible, less transparent, and thicker. A person having a cataract feels like he/she is looking through a foggy glass.

The symptoms of cataract include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double vision
  • Trouble seeing well at night
  • Seeing in a faded or yellow shade

Age is a major risk factor for cataracts and is mainly seen in people over 60 years of age. Other risk factors include family history, having diabetes, obesity, eye injuries, radiation treatments, smoking, drinking alcohol, or medications like corticosteroids. Children may also get cataracts.

Protecting eyes from sunlight by wearing sunglasses or regular eyeglasses with anti-UV coating can slow down the development of cataracts.

Cataracts may develop in one or both the eyes, and the cataract in one eye may be more advanced than in the other. An ophthalmologist will help diagnose the severity of cataract. Cataracts can be removed only with surgery. Here, the eye surgeon replaces the eye's cloudy natural lens with an intraocular lens or IOL.

Having a discussion with the doctor about the preparation, risks, recovery, and cost of surgery will help. Following doctor's directions, post-surgery is of utmost importance.

Cataracts are a common reason for people to lose vision. However, early diagnosis and timely intervention can prevent permanent vision loss.

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Disclaimer: Don’t follow any suggestions in this article without consulting a qualified doctor

Sources:

  1. ‘Cataracts.’ American Academy of Ophthalmology. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts.
  2. ‘Cataracts.’ Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790.