WHAT IS A CATARACT?How does someone with catarract sees
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens that causes loss of vision.
There are various types of cataract like the congenital , traumatic and age related cataract.
The most common type is the age related cataract.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
The lens lies behind the iris and the pupil. It works much like a camera
lens. It focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, where an
image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, letting us see
things clearly both up close and far away.
The lens is made of mostly water and protein. The protein is arranged
in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.
But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to
cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the
cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder
Researchers suspect that there are several causes of cataract, such as
smoking and diabetes. Or, it may be that the protein in the lens just
changes from the wear and tear it takes over the years.
WHEN ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A CATARACT?
- Optometry | Visual Acquity
| Myopia | Hypermetropia
| Astigmatism |
The term "age-related" is a little misleading. You don't have to be a
senior citizen to get this type of cataract. People can have an
age-related cataract in their 40s and 5Os. But during middle age, most
cataracts are small and do not affect vision. It is after age 60 that most
cataracts steal vision.
WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
A cataract starts out small. It has little effect on vision at first. You
may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a
cloudy piece of glass.
A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright,
causing a glare. Or, you may notice when you drive at night that the
oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Also, colors may
not appear as bright to you as they once did.
As the cataract gets bigger and clouds more of the lens (doctors use
the term, "ripens"), you will find it harder to read and do other
normal tasks. The word "cataract" means waterfall. For people with
a ripe cataract, it is like trying to see through a waterfall.
HOW IS A CATARACT DETECTED?
Although you might think you have a cataract, the only way to know
for sure is by having an eye examination. Should your eye care
professional find one, he or she can monitor it and advise you about
any future treatment.
HOW IS A CATARACT TREATED?
It is treated with surgery. Your eye care professional will remove
your clouded lens and, in most cases, replace it with a clear, plastic
lens. Cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision. It is
one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States,
with over 1.5 million cataract surgeries done each year.
WHEN SHOULD A CATARACT BE TREATED?
If your eye care professional finds a cataract, you may not need
cataract surgery for several years. In fact, you might never need
cataract surgery. By having your vision tested regularly, you and
your eye care professional can discuss if and when you might need
WHAT RESEARCH IS BEING DONE?
Most of these studies focus on controlling
cataract with drugs so that surgery will not be needed. Although
these drugs are not yet available to patients, research is moving
forward in this area. The researchers are also evaluating whether certain
vitamins and minerals might prevent or slow the progress of cataract.
We should know more about whether this treatment works in the
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR VISION?
If you are over age 60, you should have an eye examination at least
once every two years. This exam should include dilating your
pupils. This means drops are put into your eyes to enlarge your
pupils. Although a cataract can be detected without dilated pupils,
your eye care professional can see the back of your eye better using
this exam. Getting a good view of the retina and optic nerve is
important in detecting eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular
| Presbyopia | Cataract | Glaucoma|