A cataract refers to the clouding of the eye’s lens that becomes the source of a gradual and painless deterioration of vision over a period of time. Though this disease is found to be a major cause of blindness among people worldwide, there is no exact information about its cause. According to eye case experts, there could a number of factors behind its onset such as illness, aging, injury or specific medications.
Cataracts typically grow in one eye but people who get their one eye affected are likely to get it developed in the other eye at one point in time. However, cataracts can develop in both eyes at the same time.
In a normal eye condition, light passes through clean lenses that further process a sharp image. However, in case of a cataract, these images processes by eyes get distorted and their sharpness gets affected. Most people come to know that their vision has got blurry when cataracts start developing.
Types of Cataracts
Symptoms of cataracts tend to vary from person to person, depending on the kind of cataract they suffer from. Symptoms of all kinds of cataracts may involve blurry vision or glare from car headlamps, particularly at night. Sunlight or indoor overhead lighting may found to be excessively bright or source glare. One may sign that bright colors appear dull. He or she may also notice everything to be a bit yellow.
Occasionally cataracts are found to cause double vision, and the person may find that he is recurrently changing contact lens or eyeglasses treatments. The amount of vision change depends on the strength of the light entering the eye and the exact location of the cataract.
Generally, the pupil tightens in bright light, thinning the pathway through which lightly touches the eye lens. In case of a cataract, the light gets it difficult to pass through the cataract, particularly when it is centrally located.
In case of a dark environment, the pupil widens, which causes bright lights that instantly appear in the darkness (like headlights incoming on a dark road) to disperse at the edge of the cataract, leading to glares and halos.
When a cataract emerges at the back of the lens, it affects a person’s vision more than a cataract in another location because the murkiness is at a level where the light rays are already projected in a narrow beam. The influence of shifting from brightly lit rooms to dark ones can be more severe and lead to an even bigger loss of vision. The extremity of the symptoms depends on the exact location of the cataract.
An infrequently person may get cataract-like symptoms, but those symptoms may be an indication of another eye-related issue. This is why it is recommended to visit an eye doctor in case of any changes in the vision.
An eye expert will insert drops in the eyes to dilate the pupils and then carry out a detailed eye test. He or she will examine the crystalline lens of the eye and inspect the optic nerves and retina for changes that may be causing vision issues. This is generally performed using an ophthalmoscope, which is a handy tool employed to look inside the eye.
By employing an instrument known as a slit lamp, an eye doctor can determine the exact location of the cataract and check its sternness. The eye doctor may also conduct a tonometry test to gauge the pressure inside your eye. This is one of the diagnostic approaches for glaucoma.
Causes of Cataracts
An eye lens is made up of water and protein. The protein is set up in a special position that keeps the lens clean and enables light to pass through. A cataract emerges when some of the protein clusters together and starts to mist a part of the lens. It tends to grow larger affecting the vision.
Though the strict cause of cataracts is still unknown, experts believe it is known to be closely associated the aging process.
Cataracts are found to be pretty much common when aging is combined with:
Though one may say that there could be hundreds of treatment approaches for cataracts, the surgery is found to be the most effective one. In all over the world, cataract surgery is one of the most widely performed eye care procedures on people. It tends to have a success rate of over 95% when done by an expert cataract and lens implantation surgeon. For a large number of people, the physical effect of cataract surgery is similar to tooth extraction.
Cataract Surgery is mostly done under local anesthesia, and only the eye’s surface is insensitive, either by injection or eye drops. Cataract surgery generally involves the replacement of the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). The cloudy natural lens is replaced with a clear IOL, thereby guarantying better vision.
Nowadays ophthalmologists generally replace the cloudy lens with a technically advanced intraocular lens such as Crystalens® or Restor®, which are found correct not only distance vision but near- and arm’s-length vision too. These are more very like the natural lenses one had and can restore the vision one lost in his forties when became presbyopic.
There are two kinds of cataract surgery used by eye care experts. They are known as phacoemulsification and extracapsular surgery. In case of phacoemulsification, a small incision is made in the cornea, and a computer-guided device releases ultrasound waves to break the lens into small pieces. The pieces are then eliminated and replaced with an IOL.
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