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A cataract is defined as a clouding of lens in the eye where your vision gets blurred. A cataract affects the eyes, when light that passes through the lens prevents a clearly formed image from reaching your retina. The disease is very common and usually, develops as your eyes age or due to any injury caused to the tissues that cover your eye's lens.
Types of cataracts:
- Senile Cataract: This is the commonest of all. It is age-related clouding of the lens. It can affect the near or distance vision and can also cause glare and change in glasses power.
- Secondary Cataract: It can be developed after surgery for other eye problems like glaucoma and other health conditions such as diabetes.
- Traumatic Cataract: It can develop many years later after an injury caused to your eye.
- Congenital Cataract: As the term explains, the disease may be inborn or some children might develop it at a later stage which often affects both eyes.
- Radiation Cataract: It can form after you are exposed to some form of radiation.
A cataract surgery involves the extraction or cleaning of the cloudy lens, which is then replaced by a clear artificial lens.
There are lenses that lies behind our iris and pupil which act much like a camera lens. It helps concentrate light onto the retina at the back of our eye to form a sharply defined image. Besides, the lens also helps our eyes to adjust focus and allows us to see things clearly both far away and up close. The lens is composed of protein and water where the protein is arranged in a manner to keep the lens clear thereby letting light pass through it.
However, as we grow old, some of the protein starts to become thick and cloud a small lens area. This is known as a cataract. With the passage of time, it may inflate and cover more of the lens, making it difficult for us to see.
Besides, there are other causes of cataract such as smoking, addiction of alcohol, prolonged sunlight exposure, to name a few.
When should you opt for a cataract surgery?
Believe it or not, but till date no eye drop or medication has proven to reverse or prevent the formation of a cataract. If a cataract is affecting your nearsightednessor alteration in your prescription, then new prescription eyeglasses may help to better your blurred vision. However, the only treatment for a cataract is the surgical removal of your natural lens. And, most eye doctors recommend this surgery only when the problem becomes severe and starts hampering your day-to-day activities, such as studying or driving at night.
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Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Normally, the lens of your eye is clear. A cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually affects your vision.
Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.
How a cataract affects your vision
Cataract surgery is performed to treat cataracts. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.
When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended. For example, doctors may recommend cataract surgery if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
In most cases, waiting to have cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever.
When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:
- Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
- Do you have problems reading or watching television?
- Is it difficult to cook, shop, do hardwork, climb stairs or take medications?
- Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
- Do bright lights make it more difficult to see?
Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully.
Cataract surgery risks include:
- Drooping eyelid
- Dislocation of artificial lens
- Retinal detachment
- Secondary cataract
Loss of vision
Your risk of complications is greater if you have another eye disease or a serious medical condition. Occasionally, cataract surgery fails to improve vision because of underlying eye damage from other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If possible, it may be beneficial to evaluate and treat other eye problems before making the decision to have cataract surgery.
My mother aged 53 year old, some times her left eye becomes red around eye ball, and whole of left part of head gets pain and two days the reddish eye will get to normal. Why is this happening? Please help.
Cataract can be defined as the clouding of the natural lenses in the eyes. This is caused by the clumping of protein in the eye lens. Cataract is a common eye disorder and the leading cause of loss of vision in people who are past their fortieth birthday. Cataract can occur in one or both eyes. When diagnosed properly, cataract can be treated with surgery to prevent blindness.
Depending on where and how they develop, there are many types of cataract. The most common amongst these are:
1. Subcapsular cataract
These occur at the back of the eye lens. Diabetic patients are very susceptible to this kind of cataract.
2. Nuclear cataract
Yellowish-brown cataract that form in the center of the lens are called nuclear cataract. This is usually seen in cataract caused by ageing.
3. Cortical cataract
Cataract in the lens cortex are known as cortical cataract. These are wedge shaped and whitish in color. Spokes protruding out of these opaque wedges can be seen moving towards the center of the eye.
4. Congenital cataract
Though they are not common, babies can also have cataract. Cataract formed at birth or within the first year of a baby's birth are known as congenital cataract.
5. Secondary cataract
6. Traumatic cataract
If your vision becomes cloudy years after an eye injury, it could be a traumatic cataract. It can take several years for this to happen.
7. Radiation cataract
Though the type of cataract might differ from person to person, the symptoms are usually the same. Some of the common symptoms of cataract are:
1. Blurred vision
2. Reduced night vision
3. Increased sensitivity to light and glare
4. Seeing halos around lights
5. Colors appearing faded
6. Double vision
A reading test is the first step towards diagnosing cataracts. This is followed by tests to measure the eye pressure. Your doctor will also need to dilate the pupil to check the condition of the optic nerves and retina.
Surgery is the safest way to remove a cataract. Surgery is usually recommended when cataract begin inhibiting your daily life such as preventing you from driving, interfering with reading etc.
In most cases, this can be done as an outpatient procedure. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Hence, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, get your eyes checked at once. The surgery is a day-care surgery only, so a person can go home the same day.
I have severe pain on the right side of my head along with pain at the medial corner of right eye above the conjunctiva and my right ear keeps popping every time I’ve this pain. No pain killer relieves my pain. The attack is for around 9-10 hours. The pain subsides after so without taking any medication.
Hi, suddenly I found a haze / cloud in front of my vision getting difficult to read newspaper and books. I have very old (15 years) blood sugar issue and recently was trying to discard medicine and stressed more on physical activities. I am 51 years old. Is it because of diabetes or normal cataract issue? Current sugar level above 200 (fasting)
With everything requiring a computer to execute, more and more people end up looking at the computer screen for hours on end. This could range anywhere from a couple of hours to really long hours like 16 to 18. The effect of is a group of symptoms, which are collectively known as computer vision syndrome or CVS (syndrome means a collection of symptoms). The cause of this is the strain and pain resulting from constant staring at the monitor.
It is a type of repetitive stress injury, where a particular organ, the eye here, is subjected to repeated action (staring at a monitor) resulting in a group of symptoms. This is also compounded by age, where the flexibility to adjust to near and far vision is gradually reduced.
Symptoms of CVS:
There is no damage per se, but a constant strain on the eyes leads to:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dryness of the eyes
- Redness of the eyes
- Irritation of the eyes
- Headaches and neck/back aches
This could be a progressive condition, where the symptoms get worse with time. Treatment is definitely an option once the problem sets in, but this is a condition which can be definitely prevented with some simple, effective steps.
- Desk arrangement: Make sure the desk or monitor is slightly below eye level, about 30 inches away from the face. If you are straining the neck or the back to look at the monitor, it requires a change. The chair also can be changed in height to suit the seating. Also, prints can be pinned to the workstation when something is being typed, so constantly looking up and down while typing is avoided.
- Screen type: Move away from the older tube-style monitor with an LCD screen, which is easier on the eye. Check the computer settings so that brightness, contrast, and font size and shape and contrast are altered to suit your convenience. Ensure you are not requiring to strain to read.
- Alter the lighting: Look around you, and ensure there is adequate lighting with no glares on the monitor from surrounding windows or bright lights. A glare filter on the monitor is an effective way to manage this.
- Rest your eyes: Follow the 20-20-20 rule, with a 20-second break every 20 minutes where you look at something 20 feet away.
- Keep them moist: Blink your eyes constantly to ensure there is enough moisture. Eye drops can be used if required additionally.
- Frequent breaks: Not just your eyes, this also reduces strain on the neck and the back.
- Regular eye checkups: An annual visit, especially after 40, is a must for optimal eye health.