When your vision becomes cloudy or foggy, usually due to aging, you can suspect that you are having an eye cataract. The primary effect of cataract is blurred vision. So, what is cataract and how does it develop? The word cataract is derived from Latin word “cataracta” which means waterfall. It is metaphorically used in modern English for its blurring effect on the eye.
What Is Cataract
Cataract is the clouding of the eye lens, mainly due to aging, except for a small percentage of other secondary reasons such as diabetic condition, or constantly exposing to ultraviolet light etc. The US National Institutes of Health and National Eye Institute have estimated that over half of Americans above the age of 80 will develop cataract or have already developed them.
Bear in mind that cataract will not spread from eye to eye, but can occur in either or both eyes.
What Causes Cataracts to Develop?
Most age related cataracts develop in either of the two ways are mentioned below,
1. Protein clumping is one of the main reasons for clouding of the lens. This occurs when lens proteins begin to denature as a result of aging. You may not be able to notice the difference when the cataract is small but as it grows and spreads, the vision of the eye gets worse and eyeglasses or stronger lighting can help to remediate the condition until surgery becomes an absolute necessity.
2. With the aging of the eye lenses, it looses its natural clarity and may add a tint of yellow or brown texture to it. As with protein induced cataract, you may not be able to notice the browning or blurring of vision initially. But with the passage of time and increased browning, reading and routine activities gets affected. The one difference in tinted cataract is, the vision sharpness will not reduce but identifying colors like blues and purples will be difficult.
How Do I Know if I Have Cataract
Cataract will not show signs until at least it has developed partially. However these are the common symptoms:
1. Faded colors and blurred vision
2. Poor night vision but headlights and sunlight may appear all too bright with a halo around the source.
3. Temporary double or multiple visions which gets cleared as cataract develops further.
4. Frequent need to change contact lenses or spectacles.
Who Is At Risk? Should I Worry?
Those who indulge in alcoholism or those who are exposed to UV light for a long time are at danger of developing cataract. Even diabetics face the same risk.
*Not medically proven but since young, I was made to believe that taking too much eggs will make you develop cataract as you grow older. However, here is an article for you to digest about it.
Different Types of Cataract
1. Secondary cataracts, an after effect of eye surgery, such as glaucoma
2. Congenital cataracts, in new born babies, which in rare cases lead to lens replacement
3. Traumatic cataracts, due to eye injuries. These have very late onsets
Early symptoms are taken care off by eyeglasses but when everyday life routine gets badly affected, after the cataract complete its development, surgery is the only and proven way to fix the problem.
A Video About Cataract
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