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Cataract

What is Cataract?

Cataract is a common condition that is found amongst the elders. If you are above 60 and everything seems to b blurred to you, then it quite obvious that you are suffering from cataract which can easily be treated by an eye doctor. A dense and a cloudy cover is formed on the lens of the eye as a result of the clumps of proteins in the eye which prevents the lens from sending clear images to the retina. This condition develops slowly and soon impairs the vision of an individual.

Cataract can occur in both eyes but usually it does not happen at the same time

Symptoms of Cataract

  • Impaired vision
  • Blurred vision during the night
  • Seeing colors as faded
  • Being extra sensitive to glares
  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Having a double vision in the eye affected with cataract
  • Constant change of power in prescription glasses
  • Reading becomes difficult and eventually impossible
  • Vision worsens when lights are dim

People who are at risk for Cataracts

  • Having members in family who suffer from cataract
  • People having diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity
  • People who smoke too much
  • People consuming lot of alcohol
  • Exposure to radiation from X-rays and cancer treatments
  • An eye surgery, injury in the eye or any kind of radiation treatment in upper part of the body
  • Exposure to sun without the sunglasses

What Causes Cataract?

There are many reasons that lead to cataract. The major amongst them are :

Cataract due to Age

Sometimes age is one of the most important factor that is related to causing cataract. There are normal changes in the eye that happens after the age of 40 where the normal proteins in the eys starts breaking down and hence makes our lens cloudy. This leads to impaired vision.

Congenital

Sometimes the babies are born with cataracts due to the poor development of foetus in the womb, infection or any kind of injury.

Unethical living habits

People who are too much into smoking, irregular eating habits, skipping meals, consuming lot of alcohol are at a higher risk of suffering from cataract.

Diagnosis of Cataract

A comprehensive eye check up is done to diagnose cataract. This will include an eye chart test to check your vision at different distances and tonometry to measure your eye pressure. The various tests that are carried out to diagnose cataract includes

  • In order to find out how clearly the person sees an image a visual acuity test is performed in which the patient is made to read a lot of letters from across a room.
  • A slit-lamp examination uses a microscope to inspect the cornea, the iris, the lens, and the space between the iris and the cornea.
  • The pressure inside the eye is measured with Tonometry test
  • The pupils are dilated with an eye drop and then a retinal examination is also performed.

Treatment of Cataract

In the cataract surgery, an artificial lens called an IOL is placed after clearing the cloudy formations in the eye. High frequency ultra-sound devices are used to break the cloudy lens into small pieces. Suction procedure is then used to remove these pieces from the eye with suction. After removing the cloudy lens, the new intraocular lens are positioned behind the iris and the pupil.

Once this is done, the incision in the eye is closed. Then a protective shield is placed over the eye to keep the eye safe immediately after the cataract surgery is performed.

"People that develop cataract in the center of their lens often notice a temporary improvement in near vision called second sight, which eventually fades out as the cataract progresses."