Friday, March 08, 2013

What are cataracts?

After the update video I had a friend ask for info on Cataracts, just so happens I went to another friend to get an eye exam and I too have early cataracts....so I am going to do a series on cataracts


What are cataracts?

 Any opacity and cloudiness that develops in the crystalline lens of the eyes are considered as cataracts. Cataracts are not formed on the eyes. It is formed within the eyes. Most people would think that a cataract is a film that grows on the eyes which causes blurred images or sometimes double vision. The eye lens is enclosed in a capsule. As the old cells die, it is trapped inside the capsule. As time passes the cell will eventually build up causing the eye lens to cloud, thus making images hazy and indistinctive. It is one of the major causes of visual loss among adult who are over 55 in the whole world.

What are the symptoms and signs of cataracts?

Cataracts at first are small, is has a very small effect of your sight at first. Its first symptom is that your vision will be blurred a little. Its symptoms depend on the location of the cataract on the lens and the cloudiness of the cataract. The most common symptoms are blurry visions, colors seem to appear faded, poor night vision and sensitivity to bright lights. The type of cataract will also affect what symptoms you will be experiencing. Nuclear cataracts first symptom is the improvement of your near vision. However this improvement will be short-lived and eventually will disappear as the cataract deteriorates. Subcapsular cataracts do not have any symptoms until it has fully developed.

What are the causes of cataracts?

Experts say that as we age the eye lens changes, forming cataracts. Experts are progressively distinguishing the factors that cause cataracts. Studies shows, that too much exposure to ultraviolet light is connected with the development of cataracts. They recommend that wearing sunglasses or wide brimmed hat will minimize the exposure of ultraviolet light. Further studies also show that individuals who are diabetic and users of major tranquilizers, diuretics and steroids tend to be at high risk of developing cataracts. Smoking, air pollution and alcohol abuse are also included in the risk factors. Eating foods that are rich in salt puts you on high risk of cataract development.

How to treat cataract.

Diets high in antioxidants (beta-carotene, selenium and vitamin C and vitamin E) helps prevent cataract development. If symptoms start to show you may be able to improve your eyesight with appropriate lighting, glasses, magnifying glass, strong bifocals and other visual aids. If your vision deteriorates badly and impairs your daily activities such as reading, working or driving, you should consider having your cataract removed by surgery. Cataract surgery is the most effective way of restoring your vision. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgery procedures in the United States. An average or nine out of ten patients who undergo cataract surgery regain with a very good vision. There are two types of cataract surgery procedure. These are the phacoemulsification and the extracapsular surgery. Ask your ophthalmologist for the type of cataract surgery procedure that would be best for you.
 
There are three types of cataracts
Derived from the word “cataracta” which is a Latin word for “waterfall” and “kataraktes” which means “to wash down” in Greek. The eye lens work like camera lens. The light is focused into the retina at the back of the eyes. The lens aids the focus of the eyes letting the eyes see clearly.  The crystalline lens of the eyes is primarily made up of water and protein. The protein is naturally bonded together so that light may pass through. Cataract is formed when that bond changes and the molecules of protein are clump together. These clumps block the light entering the lens. As we age these clumps grow bigger and cloudier.
Researchers are not sure why the eye lens change as we age, thus forming cataracts. Although not common, cataract also occurs on young persons. These are sometimes caused by eye trauma, prescription drugs or chronic medical conditions. However they have identified some risk factors of which can cause cataract. These include the long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, secondary effects of diseases such as myotonic, dystrophy, diabetes and Wilson’s disease. Fetal exposure to radiation, alcohol and abuse of substances during pregnancy contribute a high risk factor. Smoking is one of the major risk factor of cataract.  Long term alcohol use leads to the development of cataract; this is because alcohol can lead to vitamin deficiency.  Vitamin C and vitamin E deficiency are said to may have linked to the development of cataract. Eye infection also is a major risk. A tumor may cause changes that will often lead to cataract development.
Cataracts are categorized into three types because the eye lens consists of three components. These are the nucleus or the center lens, the lens cortex or the periphery, and the membrane that envelops the lens or the capsule.  
Nuclear Cataract
The most common cataract found among older patients. This type of cataract develops in the nucleus. Nuclear cataract can take years to develop.
Cortical Cataract
This type of cataract forms in the peripheral area or the lens cortex area. Cortical cataract is common among patients who are diabetic. If left untreated it will sooner or later extend its spores into the center.
Subcapsular Cataract
Subcapsular cataract develops at the back of the lens area and sometimes in the center. Rapid symptoms can occur in just over month’s period.
In the early stages of cataract, cataracts tend to interfere with the vision. Causing blurred or hazy vision, however this can be improved by using new glasses, magnification, adequate lighting, strong bifocals or any other visual aid. But if the symptom worsens, making it difficult to do daily activities such as driving, reading or working it may need to be surgically removed by your ophthalmologist.
 
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1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks for the information, i learned a lot, here are some extras:
    cataract surgery - eye surgery that involves removing all or part of the lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant
    eye operation, eye surgery - any surgical procedure involving the eyes
    intracapsular surgery - cataract surgery in which the entire lens is removed
    extracapsular surgery - cataract surgery in which only the front of the lens is removed; the back of the lens capsule remains intact and provides support for the lens implant. If anyone wants more info check out my site!!!
    http://marylandcataractsurgeon.com/index.php/prince-george-cataract-surgeons/

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