We all age – As we age our bodies develop several age-related conditions. One such condition is Cataract. It is one of the most common conditions found in people and it is one of the key causes of vision loss. What exactly are Cataracts and what are treatment options available? Let’s find out everything that you need to know about cataract.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudy layer formed in the lens of your eye. The most common cause of cataracts is age. Other than that, some genetic disorders such as diabetes can also put you at risk of it.
The condition develops slowly and gradually, one may not be able to notice it at the initial stage. Over time, cataracts can lead to blurry or hazy vision. One can get cataracts in either one eye or even both eyes.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Initially, you may not see any visible symptoms, but as cataracts grow, you will notice one more of these symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurry vision,
- Colors appear dull or faded,
- Night vision may reduce,
- A halo may be seen around lights,
- May experience change the prescription for your glasses frequently.
If you see any of these symptoms, it’s time to see an eye specialist. If left untreated this eye problem can lead to loss of vision.
What causes cataracts?
Although, the most common cause for cataract is AGE; Your chances of getting cataract increase if you:
- Have certain genetic disorders such as diabetes
- Smoke or drink alcohol excessively
- Have a family history of cataracts
- Had an eye injury or had undergone radiation treatment on your upper body
- Spend a lot of time under the sunlight
Is it possible to prevent cataracts?
Though you cannot prevent cataracts, however, taking the following measures can certainly protect your eyes and slow down the formation of cataracts.
- Wear sunglasses when going out in sharp sunlight.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables spinach, kale, and collard greens.
- Wear anti-glare glasses in sunlight or watching the computer or mobile screen for long (working professionals often need to stare at the screen regularly for several hours. Moreover, people quite addicted to seeing their smartphones frequently)
What’s the treatment for cataracts?
A cataract is a common condition. About 8000 million people across the globe are affected by this condition (information source). The good news is that one can get rid of cataracts through surgery. Cataract surgery is relatively safe and treats the condition completely. During the surgery, the doctor removes the clouded lens from the eye and replaces it with a new, artificial lens.
When do you need to get Cataract Surgery done?
Usually, people don’t need to rush into cataract surgery. As soon as you notice some of the symptoms, consult your doctor. Although, delaying the surgery usually doesn’t harm your eyes; but it is advisable to at least consult the doctor as early as possible. He will be the right person to guide you for the same.
You may not require to get the surgery done immediately. Your doctor might suggest a rush if your cataract has already developed and starting to get in the way of common activities such as reading or driving.
While there is no way to prevent Cataracts, you can definitely slow down the formation of this condition by taking care of the eyes. Wearing UV-protected sunglasses, eating greens, quitting smoking, and following a healthy lifestyle.