What is a Cataract?
Just like a camera, an eye needs to take in light in a consistent way in order to render an image correctly. As people age, they may start to get small distortions in certain areas of their eyes that can make it difficult to see. This can make the eye’s lens cloudy as well, causing further distortions and difficulties seeing. Depending on the person, these difficulties can range from being moderate to very severe and debilitating. As people age, these problems can get even worse.
When vision in the affected area becomes so obstructed that vision becomes very cloudy, the condition is called a cataract. During early stages, those suffering from these conditions can expect to be able to use eyeglasses. However, as time goes on this may become impossible as the condition continues to worsen with age.
The most common cause of cataracts is aging, as eyes are simply not perfectly formidable against natural damage that can occur as time goes on. Cataracts can also be caused by trauma, steroid-based medications, various diseases, and even long-term exposure to harmful UV light. In some cases, young children can have cataracts. Usually these are caused by birth defects that emerged immediately at the start of their life as a baby.
Farsighted individuals can realize an easier time seeing up-close as the eye hardens due to cataracts. However, myopic (or nearsighted) individuals may find their vision getting even worse due to cataracts. For this reason, the effects of the problems can vary greatly between different people.
One of the easiest ways to fight back against cataracts is to minimize exposure to ultraviolet light. Just simple sunglasses or a hat can be an effective way to cut down on exposure to these harmful rays. Individuals who enjoy tanning should try to avoid looking directly at the sun or artificial source of UV light. However, individuals should keep in mind that there is no natural way to remove a cataract once it has formed. The only way to solve the problem for good is to have the cataract surgically removed by a doctor.
An eye doctor, or ophthalmologist, can surgically remove a cataract in order to provide relief for individuals suffering from them. Generally, a small incision can be made to remove the cataract easily. However, more extreme cases may necessitate making larger incisions that can carry longer recovery times. In the United States, more than 95 percent of eye surgeries are considered to be successful and vision is improved.
Symptoms of cataracts:
• Decreasing vision with age
• Blurred or double vision
• Seeing halos around bright lights
• Difficulty seeing at night
• Vision that worsens in sunlight
• Difficulty distinguishing colors
• Poor depth perception
• Frequent prescription changes for glasses
Difficulty reading Causes of cataracts:
• Eye trauma
• Some medications including long-term use of oral steroids
• Ultraviolet radiation
Certain metabolic conditions Diagnosing cataracts:
Your Columbus eye doctor can perform a contrast sensitivity test to determine how much your vision has been affected by a cataract. But typically, when decreased vision affects your everyday activities or hobbies, a cataract should be treated.
Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only one way to achieve clear vision again is through cataract surgery.