Cataracts

    • Brief

    • A cataract causes dense cloudy areas to form on the lens in your eye, preventing light from passing through. It develops slowly and may eventually cover the entire lens leading to blindness in that eye. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness in the world. Cataracts can occur in both eyes, however they do not usually start at the same time. They are is more common in elderly people, usually appearing first in their 40s or 50s.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • A cataract starts small and gradually reduces your vision. You might not notice any symptom at first but with time you may start to notice one or more of the following:

      • Your eyesight becomes blurry, cloudy or dim.
      • You may have more difficulty seeing at night.
      • You may see circles of light (halos) around lights at night.
      • You may experience increased sensitivity to light or have difficulty adjusting to bright light.
      • You may need brighter light for reading and other activities.
      • You may need frequent changes in prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.
      • You may see double with one eye.
    • What are the causes?

    • Ageing, long term use of steroids (such as prednisolone), past surgery and injury can change the nature of tissues in the eyes, leading to cataracts. Ageing can cause the tissues in the lens to break down, making the transparent lens tissue cloudy.

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • The following put may increase your risk of developing cataracts:

      • Increasing age.
      • Previous injury to or surgery in the eyes.
      • Diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
      • Smoking tobacco and drinking large amounts of alcohol.
      • Radiation from cancer treatment or X-rays.
      • Long-term use of medications called steroids for conditions such as asthma and arthritis.
      • If you have an inherited disorder, such as Marfan syndrome that affects the body's connective tissue.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider for an eye exam if you notice blurry eyesight, double vision or flashes of light, eye pains or headaches. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms come suddenly.

    • How to prevent?

    • Cataracts cannot be prevented. Having regular eye examinations can help you identify problems early and improve your chances of saving your sight.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-Care Tips

      To protect your eyes you should do the following:

      • Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block the sun.
      • Manage other health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
      • Stop smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol.
      • Wear safety goggles during work or sporting activities that may causes damage to the eye.
      • Eat a healthy diet that includes a lot of vegetables and fruits.

      Treatment Options

      The treatment of cataracts usually involve:

      • Surgical removal of the defective lens and replacement with an artificial lens.
      • Sometimes the symptoms of cataracts can be treated with glasses or contact lenses.
    • Kulawa cares

    • It is important to take the symptoms of cataracts seriously and see your eye doctor for an eye test. Sometimes the symptoms of cataracts can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. During cataract surgery, your eye doctor will place a new lens in your eye. Cataract surgery is usually done as outpatient surgery and lasts about an hour.