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Cataract – Symptoms, Causes, Types & Treatment

A cataract is a clouded, dense region that develops in the eye’s lens. When proteins in the eye clump together, the lens cannot transmit clear pictures to the retina, which leads to the development of a cataract. The retina functions by converting signals from the light that enters via the lens. The optic nerve receives the signals from it and delivers them to the brain.

This lens gets opaque as you age, and your eyes’ clarity deteriorates. Between 80 to 90 percent of adults have cataracts. Any age may develop a cataract.

Causes

Cataracts have several underlying causes. These consist of:

  • Smoking
  • Usage of steroids and other medications for an extended time
  • Specific diseases, including diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Radiation treatment
  • Torch infection (from birth)
  • Medication during pregnancy
  • Uveitis (Inflammatory eye disease)
  • Alcohol
  • UV exposure

Types

Types of cataracts include:

  • Nuclear cataracts: The lens’s nucleus, or centre, becomes yellow or brown as they develop in the midst of the lens.
  • Cortical cataracts: The edges of the nucleus are surrounded by these wedge-shaped structures.
  • Posterior capsular cataracts: These develop more quickly than the other two kinds and impact the lens’s back.
  • Congenital cataracts: These are less frequent than age-related cataracts and are present at birth or develop throughout a baby’s first year.
  • Secondary cataracts: These are brought on by illnesses or medicines. Diabetes and glaucoma are two conditions connected to the formation of cataracts. Prednisone usage and other medications may sometimes result in cataracts.
  • Traumatic cataracts: These appear after an eye injury; however, it may take a while for this to happen.
  • Radiation cataracts: These may develop during radiation therapy for cancer.

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    Symptoms

    Cataract symptoms and signs include:

    • A vision that is cloudy, blurry, or dim
    • Night-time eyesight is becoming more challenging
    • Light and glare sensitivity
    • Brighter lighting is required for activities like reading
    • Observing “halos” surrounding light 
    • Fluctuating needs for new glasses or contacts
    • Color fading or yellowing
    • Having a double vision in only one eye

    Treatment

    There is currently no medication for cataracts; the sole treatment is surgery.

    Surgery is advised if cataracts make it difficult for you to read or drive or engage in other everyday activities. Additionally, it is done when treating other eye issues complicated by cataracts.

    One surgical procedure, called phacoemulsification, uses ultrasonic waves to separate and eliminate the lens’s pieces.

    Extracapsular surgery includes a lengthy cornea incision to remove the lens’s clouded portion. Following surgery, the natural lens is replaced by an artificial intraocular lens.

    Types of cataract lens

    Following are the types of cataract lenses:

    • Monofocal: The monofocal lens has one point of focus, which is often adjusted for your distant vision but would blur if you were trying to see up close.
    • Extended Monofocal: Extended monofocals help correct near, moderate, and distant vision since they enable vision at various distances.
    • Extended Depth of Vision Lens: Alternative methods for extending the field of view without severing the light include lenses with extended depth of focus. These lenses extend the focus to encompass a wider area than the original basic lenses, which focus on a single spot.
    • Bifocal Lens: A bifocal lens is a kind of ophthalmic lens that has been specifically created to correct vision deficits such as presbyopia and other types of ametropia. Presbyopia is defined as the “age of sight.”
    • Trifocal Lens: Three vision categories are corrected with trifocal lenses: near, intermediate, and far.

    Conclusion

    Cataracts and other visual issues are age-related and common. Surgery to remove cataracts is among the most reliable and safest procedures available. Further, it’s crucial to include more antioxidants—primarily vitamins A, C, and E—into your daily routine to improve your eyesight.

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