What are Cataracts?
A cataract is a thick layer that is formed in the eye lens. It just looks like a cloud in the eye. Clumps are formed because of the protein in the eye and these stop the lens from sending images clearly to the retina. Cataracts grow gradually and finally interfere with vision. Usually, cataracts do not form at the same time in both the eyes.
As the cataract development extends, the clouding becomes thicker and covers a larger portion of the lens. A cataract spreads and prevents the light to pass through the lens, blocks a clearly defined image to reach the retina. As a result, the vision becomes weak and blurred.
Causes for Cataracts:
- Cataracts are commonly seen in aged people.
- Sometimes injuries may form the tissue that forms on your eye’s lens.
- Genetic disorders caused due to health problems can raise the risk of getting affected by cataracts.
- Cataracts can also be caused due to inheritance.
- Other eye conditions such as past eye surgery or conditions like diabetes may also cause cataracts.
- Spending a lot of time in the sun without any sunglasses may also be one of the reasons to get cataracts.
- Extreme near sight may even have a risk of getting affected by cataracts.
- Moreover, the use of steroids may also be one of the causes for cataracts to occur.
What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
- Weak vision.
- Double vision.
- Have trouble seeing in dim light.
- Sensitive to glare and over light.
- Changing colour of eyes slowly to brownish or yellowish.
- Wearing glasses may become less effective.
- Cannot recognize colors properly.
Types of Cataracts:
Cataracts are classified based on how and where they develop in your eye
- Nuclear Cataracts: They form in the middle of the lens and cause the center of the eye to become brownish or yellowish.
- Cortical Cataracts: These are shaped as wedges and they form throughout the edges of the center of an eye.
- Posterior capsular Cataracts: They are faster than the above two types and affect the rear portion of the lens.
- Congenital Cataracts: These contracts are present right from the birth or form during first year of the baby and these are very rare contracts.
- Secondary Cataracts: These are caused by diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes and medications like the use of steroids.
- Traumatic Cataracts: They form after an injury to the eye, but it takes many years for this to occur.
- Radiation Cataracts: This can develop undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.
How can a cataract be diagnosed?
A complete eye examination should be done by the doctor to assess your vision and check for the contracts. This includes tonometry to check eye pressure and an eye chart test to examine your vision at different distances.
The doctor will put some drops in your eyes that make your pupils bigger and it is easy to examine the optic nerve and retina at the rear side of your eye for any damages.
The other tests which may also be performed include observation of colors and checking how much you are sensitive to glare.
Treatment for Cataracts:
If the impression is mild then surgery may not be required during the initial stages, powerful glasses can help better vision.
As it grows stronger, it would be hard to carry out day to day tasks and the person should go for surgery. Surgery is a regular, effective and safe procedure.
What can happen if cataracts are left without treatment?
It is true that there are a notable number of people with cataracts and are not aware of it. In the early stages of cataract growth, patients may believe that their weak vision is the result of aging but does not realize the severe condition until cataracts show a harmful impression on their vision.
If cataracts are left untreated, they will ultimately cause a major disturbance in daily life and the person cannot perform even the regular activities like watching television and driving. Finally, there will be a complete vision loss and even total blindness in some cases.