Cataract Causes, Signs & Symptoms

Cataract is a cloudy area in the lens inside the eye which is normally clear. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes. Cataract is the most common cause of blindness and can be usually treated with surgery. A normal clear lens allows light to pass through to the back of the eye, the patient can see images clearly.

There are two types of cataracts

Age related cataracts – It happens because of age factor.

Congenital cataracts – This type of cataract may be present when the baby is born, or shortly after birth.

Causes

The major cause of cataract is aging. It develops when aging or injury changes the tissue that make up your eye lens. In some cases researchers have found that inherited genetic disorders can be one of the reasons causing cataract, and also responsible for other health problems which increase the risk of cataracts.

Factors that may responsible for developing cataracts

Researchers have found following factors which may increase a person’s chances of developing cataracts:

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Age

Family history

Diabetes

Long term exposure to bright sunlight

Long tem use of corticosteroids (because of using oral, steroids by Asthma patient)

Any eye inflammation or injury

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of cataract are usually noticeable after many years of its beginning, especially when the person gets elder. Gradually, more of the lens becomes cloudy. People with mild cataract will not even notice that they have it for a long time. Cataract often affects both eyes, but rarely equally. People with cataracts may have the following symptoms:

Unclear, Cloudy, or hazy vision

Vision may be affected by small spots or dots

Small patches in vision

Vision gets poorer when light is dim

Difficulty in reading, and eventually impossible to read.

Glasses need to be changed more frequently

In some rare cases patients can see a halo around bright objects

Double vision in one eye (which is rare)

Diagnosis

A person who experiences vision problems should visit an eye specialist, or an ophthalmologist.

To understand the stage of the cataract the eye specialist will carry out a number of tests which may include:

Visual acuity test

Slit-lamp examination

Retinal examination

Measuring a protein related to cataract formation

Treatment

Treatment of cataract is different and depends on the severity. If the patient is found to be mildly affected then the surgical treatment may not be needed because during the early stage of cataract, stronger glasses and brighter lights may help to improve vision. Following simple steps may be helpful to avoid surgery and for those who are not ready yet to have surgery:

Accurate Glasses

Magnifying glasses for reading.

Use brighter lamps for house. Halogen lights may help a lot.

Use sunglasses to reduce glare.

Try to avoid driving at night.

Prevention

To prevent the complications of cataracts, it is advisable to have regular eye check-up especially as you grow older. Start following below mentioned steps to avoid the risk of developing cataracts:

Stop smoking

Nutrition

Sunlight

Sleep

Obesity

Diabetes

Exercise