A Cataract is a dense cloudy area that forms on the lens of the eye. Cataracts prevent light from passing through the lens so that clear images are not formed on the retina. Cataracts are common in older people and they develop slowly. Usually, people do not realize that they have cataract until it starts to affect their vision significantly.
SYMPTOMS OF CATARACT
- Cloudy Vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Difficulty in seeing colours
- Frequent changes in prescription glasses
CAUSES OF CATARACT
- Certain diseases such as diabetes
- Ultra-Violet radiation
- An over production of oxidants which are oxygen molecules that have been chemically altered
- Heavy alcohol use
- Previous eye injuries
- High Blood Pressure
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- Prolonged use use of certain medications especially corticosteroids
HOW TO PREVENT CATARACTS
There are no proven ways to prevent cataract or slow down its progression. However, doctors have found a few strategies helpful.
- Have regular eye exams: This helps to detect cataracts at an early stage.
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Wear Sunglasses: Always wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB when you’re outdoors
- Manage your health. People who have diabetes have to closely monitor their health and keep to their doctor’s appointments
- Maintain a healthy diet
HOW CATARACT IS DIAGNOSED
To find out if you have cataract, your doctor will have to do a dilated eye examination; where eyedrops that will widen your pupils will be instilled.
WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU’RE DIAGNSED WITH CATARACT
- Get an annual eye exam
- Quit smoking if you smoke
- Limit night driving once night vision becomes a problem
- Manage other health problems especially diabetes, appropriately
Cataracts are removed surgically. If the cataract has not reduced vision significantly, there might be no need to remove it. You might just need a new pair of glasses to help you see better.