Cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is also the principal cause of blindness in the world.
What Causes Cataracts?
You develop them when protein builds up in the lens of your eye and makes it cloudy. This keeps light from passing through clearly. It can cause you to lose some of your eyesight.
There are different types of cataracts. They include:
- Age-related – These form as you get older.
- Congenital – This is what doctors call it when babies are born with cataracts. They may be caused by infection, injury, or poor development in the womb. Or, they can form in childhood.
- Secondary – These happen as a result of other medical conditions, like diabetes. They can also result from being around toxic substances, ultraviolet light, or radiation, or from taking medicines such as corticosteroids or diuretics.
- Traumatic – These form after an injury to the eye.
Other things that can increase the risk of getting cataracts include incressed UV light exposure, smoking, and heavy drinking.
What Are the Symptoms?
Cataracts usually form slowly. You may not know you have them until they start to block light. Then you might notice:
- Vision that’s cloudy, blurry, foggy, or filmy
- Nearsightedness (in older people)
- Changes in the way you see color
- Problems driving at night (glare from oncoming headlights, for example)
- Problems with glare during the day
- Double vision in the affected eye
- Trouble with eyeglasses or contact lenses not working well
What Are the Risk Factors of Cataracts?
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Exposure to cancer radiation therapy and ionizing radiation.
- Excessive sunlight exposure
- Hereditary, i.e. having a family history of cataracts.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) Overweight / obesity Recent eye inflammation or injury
- Recent eye surgery
- Using corticosteroid medications for a long time
What’s the Treatment?
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