Everything you need to know about Cataracts.
Cataracts are a serious eye complication, and individuals suffering from this condition have difficulty in reading, driving, and observing the facial expression of another individual. This condition affects the clear lens of the eye resulting in vision problems. Blindness can result if not treated.
To an individual suffering from cataracts,it might appear to them like looking through a foggy window, everything cloudy and unclear.
Clinical Signs and Symptoms
Most of the signs that are associated with cataract symptoms can include any of the following common clinical signs:
➢ Blurry vision
➢ Foggy vision
➢ Cloudy vision
➢ Faded colors in view
➢ Frequent eyeglass changes
➢ Multiple images can be seen by one eye (affected eye)
Types of cataracts
There are four types of cataracts:
1. Secondary cataracts which are cataracts that develop due to clinical complications of the eye.
2. Traumatic cataracts
Traumatic cataracts can result due to an eye injury.
3. Congenital cataracts
Congenital cataracts can be found in some newborn babies, and it can also develop during childhood.
4. Radiation cataracts
These cataracts are produced after exposure to radiation.
• Age-related changes – the older population is more susceptible to cataracts due to increased tissue break down.
• Genetic factors – family history of cataracts can also be a significant cause of cataracts.
• Congenital causes – due to any injury, infection, or maldevelopment of a baby in the womb.
• Medical conditions – cataracts can occur as a result of several medical conditions and illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and inflammation.
• Exposure – exposure to several toxic substances, radiations, or ultraviolet light can also account for this disease.
• Trauma – trauma or injury to structures of the eye can be a secondary cause of cataract.
Possible risk factors are smoking and prolonged exposure to radiation, which can also develop cataracts. Certain genetic disorders can also lead to cataracts, and it can damage the eye.
The best treatment for early cataracts is the use of prescribed glasses, sunglasses, and antiglare glasses. The initial signs and symptoms of cataracts can be alleviated by using glasses. If those measures do not improve cataracts, then surgical treatment would be the last line of defence.
The surgical treatment of cataracts involves the surgical removal of the affected eye lens from the eye, and an artificial lens is placed. Due to cataracts, the eye lens becomes cloudy and cause vision problems. It usually takes 5 – 7 weeks to recover from cataract surgery. In most cases glasses are prescribed once the healing of eyes has completed. Surgical treatment is the best way to treat cataracts when all else has failed and is usually a safe procedure. Conversely changing ones diet to organic colorful fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods may greatly reduce the risk of cataracts.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
*The preceding material was for information purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for the treatment or diagnosis of any illness or medical condition. Any changes in diet or health regime should be discussed with your family practitioner or dietary Nutritionist.