What Is Cataracts? Causes, Prevention And Treatment

It is a norm in our society that only children usually have good eyesight. When they starts growing old, they start developing blurry vision and they always associate this with the norms of old age. But what many fail to realise is that the decline in eyesight may not be as a result of age related illnesses, sometimes, it may be an infection.

Cataracts is a common eye condition in which a progressive clouding occurs at the normally clear area of the eye, causing it to gradually go blurry and if left untreated, may lead to blindness. Cataracts is a gradual process, and your eyes don't just go opaque overnight. It may take a lot of time for cataracts to fully establish and affect eyesight, in some people, it may take up to twenty years!

According to an assessment by the World Health Organization, cataracts is the leading cause of blindness as about 51 percentage of world blindness is caused by cataracts and it remains the biggest cause of blindness that's curable. Our mission at healthie.com.ng is to prevent more cataracts related blindness by creating awareness.

What Are The Causes Of Cataracts?

There are many causes of cataracts, the most known are;

  1. Aging or injury which changes the eye tissues which makeup eye lens and make it go blurry.
  2. Inherited generic disorders which may cause other health health problems like diabetes which may increase your risk of getting cataracts.
  3. Cataracts can also be caused by previous eye conditions like nearsightedness.

You're more prone to cataracts if you're associated to these risk factors. Risk factors are what will make you likely to get a particular illness, and the following are the risk factors of cataracts.

Risk Factors Of Cataracts.

Cataracts has a nimber of risk factors which you should try to avoid. But some of these risk factors come naturally and can't be avoided, the risk factors are;
  1. Aging will fire your risks of having as studies revealed that 90 percent of people above 65 years wil have a cataract.
  2. Previous eye surgery also catapults your risk of developing cataracts.
  3. Smoking.
  4. Excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to a number of visual problems, including cataracts.
  5. Being excessively fat (obesity) will increase your risks of getting cataracts.
  6. High blood pressure.
  7. Excessive exposure to sun.
  8. Diabetes patients also suffer a high risk of getting cataracts.

When you have cataracts, you will begin to notice some symptoms. Most cataracts patients seem to ignore these symptoms, thereby causing the condition to grow. The question is, what are the symptoms of cataracts?

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts has many signs and symptoms, both early and late. If you could take advantage of these signs and symptoms and start treating it early, you may never need surgery for very long time.
The symptoms of cataracts are as follows.
  1. Blurry or clouded vision.
  2. Need for brighter light to do activities you would normally do without so much light.
  3. Seeing doubles.
  4. Sensitivity to light which will always want to make you close your eyes once your eyes are exposed to bright light.
  5. Seeing halos around lights.
  6. Difficulty seeing at night.
  7. When it gets more severe, it could get to a stage where you can't properly see the expression on a friend's face.
  8. Sudden eye pain coupled with headaches and vision changes.
Once you notice any of these symptoms, it will be a good idea to quickly visit your oophtalmologist. This would help you keep your eye healthy and stall the condition from further development.

What Are The Types Of Cataracts?

I hope you're not thinking cataracts is not classified. If you think so then this will inform you that there are four known types of cataracts. They are...
  1. Nuclear cataracts:  This is the type of cataracts that affects the center of the eyes. It may start as nearsightedness, and gradually cloud the eyesight progressively.
  2. Cortical cataracts: This type of cataracts affects at the edges of the lens. It usually starts as white streams at the outer edge of the cortex (hence cortical cataracts). Gradually, it moves centre and clouds the eyes, blurring eyesight.
  3. Posterior subscapular cataracts: When a small  area forms near the back of the lens, it results in subscapular cataracts. It progresses faster than the other types of cataracts.
  4. Congenital cataracts: Catarcts which is developed when you are very young or even before you were born. These type of cataract don't always affect vision, but should be quickly removed if they do.

How Do I Slow Down The Progress Of Cataracts?

Once you've been diagnosed of cataracts but it has not gotten to a stage where you'll need surgery, there are some key tips for the prevention of cataracts progression you need to know. Here are the tips.

  • Change to an eye friendly diet. It's simple, just eat healthy. Any good food for the body is good for the eyes.
  • Before using any medication, ask if it affects people with cataracts because there are some very rare medications which are bad for cataracts patients.
  • Visit your ophtalmologist (eye doctor) frequently to know about the progress of the issue and see if it needs surgery.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing glasses or hats on a sunny day.
  • Stop smoking because it contains a harmful chemical, cadmium, which makes cataracts worse.

Cataracts treatment.

Once cataracts starts developing, one should make efforts to slow it down because once it reaches a stage where it significantly affects eyesight, it can't be reversed.

But once this stage is reached, there is a solution and the only solution is surgery. Yes, 'cataracts surgery.' Cataracts surgery is however safe and you have nothing to fear as 98% of all cataracts surgery are successful and 90% get better vision afterwards.

Cataracts surgery is usually done by removing the lens inside the eyes and replaced with an artificial lens, or intraocular lens (IOL) to restore clear vision.

Cataracts surgery should only be resulted to when the comdition has advanced to a severe stage.

Wishing you good luck in your quest for a better health, Stay healthie.

Signing out...

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