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What is Cataracts – Symptoms & Treatment

Unfortunately, some eye conditions are part of the aging process. The development of cataracts is one of them. In fact, people between the ages of 52 and 64 have about 50% chance of developing cataracts. By the age of 75, most people have cataracts and 50% of them aged 75 to 85 suffer some loss of vision as a result. Over the years, many people have seen this loss of vision as part of the aging process, but with modern surgical techniques and progress in the implantation of intraocular lenses, it is no longer necessary for people with a cataract on one or both eyes to adapt to the decreased vision. In the US, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in people over 65 years of age.

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What is a cataract?

Cataract is a blurring of the usually transparent lens of the eye. When cataracts develop, the lens becomes a frosted window and may cause blurred vision. The lens is behind the pupil and the iris (the black and the colored part of the eye). The lens consists of three parts: a capsule, a core, and a crust. The capsule surrounds the crust, which in turn surrounds the core or center of the lens. If you imagine the lens as a peach, the capsule is the skin, the crust is the fleshy fruit, and the kernel is the core.(You can see the anatomy of the eye for more information). The lens exists to focus the light on the retina (located at the back of the eye) in order to obtain a clear image. When a cataract is formed, the lens may become so opaque that light cannot easily penetrate the retina. Often, cataract covers only a small part of the lens and if there is not much loss of vision, there is no need to remove it. But if a large part of the lens is affected, sight can be significantly reduced until the cataract is removed.

Causes and Symptoms

There are many types of cataracts. Most of these are caused by a change in the chemical composition of the lens, resulting in loss of its transparency. These changes can be caused by aging, injuries, certain diseases and conditions of the eye, certain drugs (especially steroids) and inherited or congenital defects. When the normal aging process is the cause of the hardening and clogging of the lens, the cataract is called age-related. This is the most common type. It may occur as early as 40 years of age. Children are also not protected. In them, cataracts are sometimes hereditary. It can also be caused by infection or inflammation during pregnancy. This last type of cataract is called congenital, which means it existed at birth. Eye injuries can cause cataracts for people of all ages. A strong punch, puncture, cut, chemical burn or very strong heat can damage the lens and end with the so-called traumatic cataracts. Depending on the size and location of the blurred areas of the lens, people may be aware or not of developing a cataract. If the cataract is located on the periphery of the lens, there may be no change in vision. If clogging is close to the center of the lens, it usually reduces visual clarity. Common symptoms of cataracts include blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light and shine, making driving difficult, less perceptual color saturation and frequent change in the dioptre of the glasses. The more the cataract develops, the stronger the glasses no longer improves the sight. The pupil, which normally looks black, may experience noticeable changes in color and appear yellowish or white. Check more at BetterVision.bg

Detection and diagnosis

Typically, cataracts cannot be seen on the outside of the eye without proper tools. If you notice blurred vision or other symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. The eye doctor examines the lens of the eye with different instruments to determine the type, size, and location of the cataract. The inside of the eye is also examined with a device called an ophthalmoscope to see if there is any other eye problem contributing to blurred vision. BetterVision is a website that has extensive ophthalmology articles to help you with any eye diseases and conditions.

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  1. My grandma has cataracts and I am reading all possible info on the net. Thank you!

  2. Please give us more info on the surgery of cataracts!