A cataract is a common cause of vision loss and blindness across the globe. As is one of the cataract symptoms it is defined as the clouding of natural lens of the eye, which leads to reduced vision. Naturally, the lens of the eye is clear and its main purpose is to help focus an image or light on the retina. The lens must be clear to receive a sharp image. However, if the eye suffers from cataract and cataract symptoms, the individual may suffer from blurred vision.
The condition and cataract symptoms can affect both eyes but it cannot spread from one eye the other. There are smaller cataracts that may not affect your vision at all. You do not have to be old to suffer from cataract or have cataract symptoms. However, as you get older, proteins in the eye break down. You may also suffer cataract symptoms at old age when yellow-brown pigment adds a brownish tint to your vision. Coupled by collapse of the normal framework of the lens fibers, you may experience visual problems.
Types of Cataracts
The most common type of cataract you may suffer from is called Nuclear Sclerotic. The cataract symptoms for nuclear sclerotic is that over time, your lens may become yellow and harden. As it progresses, your close-up vision may temporarily improve but still suffer from inability to focus. This type of cataract occurs at the center of the lens, progresses slowly and may take many years before it affects your visual.
Cortical is another type of cataract t that is characterized by cloudy areas or white opacity that develop at the edge of the lens. The wedge-shaped streaks progress slowly and extend to the center. Water content in the lens fibers changes creating fissures of clefts that look like wheel spokes pointing from outside towards the center.
Posterior Subcapsula is the other type of cataract which starts as a small cloudy or opaque area that forms beneath the lens capsule. It forms in the path of light and may interfere with reading. You may also suffer from sensitivity to bright light.
Congenital cataracts are present at birth. If you suffer from this type of cataract, you were born with it. It can be bilateral or unilateral and may occur as part of various birth defects including lowe syndrome, congenital rubella, familial congenital cataracts and conradi syndrome.
Cataract Symptoms To Look For
Some cataract symptoms you may experience include being sensitive to glare, mild clouding of your eye lens, loss of color intensity, filmy, cloudy, foggy and fuzzy vision, seeing halos around lights and double vision. Persons affected by cataract symptoms may find it difficult to appreciate changes in contrast, color, read, write, drive or recognize faces. The cataract symptoms may vary from mild to extreme depending on the type of eye cataract. If you suffer from cataract symptoms, you may change glasses frequently and wearing glasses may become ineffective.
Causes of Cataract
- Advancing age
- Family history
- Previous eye surgery
- Eye inflammation
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Skin diseases
- Drug use
Cataract Prevention Before Getting Any Cataract Symptoms
Even though there is no proven scientific means of preventing a cataract, you may want to refrain from such obvious causes such as smoking and UV exposure. To reduce exposure to harmful rays, you can use sunglasses, sunscreen and hats. Improve your diet by consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables to delay some forms of cataract symptoms, moreover, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. Consuming foods with carotenid including zeaxanthin and lutein may help retard the progress of cataract and certain cataract symptoms.
The cataract can be removed if it impacts your ability to perform every day activities. Since cataract treatment involves cataract surgery, it can be risky. There are different surgical techniques that can be used to remove the cataract.
Phacoemulsification treatment involves breaking down and removing the cloudy lens by emulsifying the lens using energy generated by ultrasound waves from a handheld probe. It is performed using local anesthesia and can be considered outpatient. The cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial implant called intraocular lens or IOL for short.
Another surgery treatment is use of laser. Laser treatment involves dissolving the cataract in the eye using a remarkable accuracy and precision. The blade-less surgery is faster than the traditional method since it is controlled by a computer.
Extracapsular extraction involves removing the cataract manually. The lens is removed but majority of the capsule is left partially intact to allow implantation of plastic lens. The contrast to this approach is a procedure called intracapsular extraction, where surrounding capsule and lens are completely removed.
Cataract Symptoms Prevention and Treatment
All in all as one of the five senses, sight is very important. Cataract can lead to vision loss or blindness. Living a healthy lifestyle will help with prevention. As the general rule for everything, by eating right and not smoking can lead to a longer life. If cataract symptoms do develop consult a physician. Treatment is possible but for most cases it involves cataract surgery.