This blog is a place to read articles about Prescription Safety Glasses & Designer Eyewear. Lens choices,add ons, coatings, and anything else you would like to know about the Optical Industry. Written by an Independent Optician
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
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.
The most common cataract found among older patients. This
type of cataract develops in the nucleus. Nuclear cataract can take years to
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 develops at the back of the lens area
and sometimes in the center. Rapid symptoms can occur in just over month’s
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.