Could you tell me about cataracts?
A cataract refers to the clouding or opacity of the lens inside the eye.
Understanding how the eye functions is helpful in comprehending what a cataract is.
The lens is located inside the eye, behind the colored part known as the iris, which surrounds the black hole in the center called the pupil.
In a normal eye, the lens is clear and aids in focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye, allowing us to see.
When a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy, obstructing the passage of light rays.
What symptoms are caused by cataracts?
Cataracts typically form gradually over several years, resulting in a progressive blurring of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses.
In some cases, vision can deteriorate rapidly.
Developing cataracts can also lead to glare, difficulty with nighttime driving, and multiple images in one eye, all of which affect vision quality.
No, cataracts do not spread from one eye to the other.
However, they often develop in both eyes, either simultaneously or one after the other, with a gap between.
Yes, there are different types of cataracts.
Most cataracts are age-related, but other examples include congenital cataracts (present at birth), drug-induced cataracts (caused by steroids), and traumatic cataracts (resulting from eye injuries).
Yes, there is a link between diabetes and cataracts.
Cataracts are more common in people with certain diseases, such as diabetes.
Most forms of cataracts develop in later adulthood, known as age-related cataracts, and can occur anytime after the age of 40.
The natural aging process causes the gradual clouding of the lens.
However, not all individuals with cataracts require treatment.
Although rare, children can also develop cataracts.
It is normal to be unaware of having a cataract until an optician diagnoses it.
Initially, cataracts may not cause any vision problems, but over time, they can lead to blurred vision. In most cases, eyes with cataracts appear normal, but in advanced stages, the pupil may no longer appear black and can appear cloudy or white.
Feeling the need for more frequent visits to the optician to get new glasses is common when cataracts are developing.
Eventually, when the cataract worsens, stronger glasses may not improve vision, and seeing things becomes difficult even with glasses on.
A team of healthcare professionals take care of patients with cataracts.
During the assessment, they ask about your sight problems, any other eye conditions, and your overall health. They conduct vision tests and measurements using specialized equipment to determine the most suitable treatment for your vision problem. Eye drops are administered to dilate your pupils, allowing for a comprehensive eye examination. Since the drops can blur your vision for a few hours, it is advised not to drive after the appointments and to be cautious while walking, especially on steps.
Cataract surgery is recommended when the cataract starts interfering with daily activities or lifestyle, even with up-to-date glasses.
It is generally safe to avoid surgery if your vision is not problematic or if you do not wish to undergo the operation.
The decision to proceed with cataract surgery is made when you have vision problems and want to address them.
There is currently no known method to prevent cataract development.
Yes, special tests are necessary before the cataract operation to determine the strength of the lens implant that will be inserted into the eye.
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