A cataract is an opacity that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope. Looking through a cloudy lens is like trying to see through a frosty or fogged-up window. Eyeglass prescriptions may require frequent changes. An estimated 200 million people worldwide have cataracts. The lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. Moreover, with time the cataract cortex liquefies to form a milky white fluid in a Morgagnian Cataract , and can cause severe inflammation if the lens capsule ruptures and leaks. Untreated, the cataract can cause phacomorphic glaucoma . Over time, the cells accumulate causing the lens to cloud, making images look blurred or fuzzy. After age 75, as many as 70 percent of Americans have cataracts that are significant enough to impair their vision. Hypertension, kidney disease, diabetes, or direct trauma to the eye can also cause cataract. Sometimes, protein clumps together, clouding small areas of the lens and blocking some light from reaching the retina. The second most common type, cortical cataract, occurs in the cortex (or periphery) of the lens. Cortical cataract forms when the order of fibers in the cortex is disturbed and the gaps fill with water and debris, thus altering the pathophysiology of light by scattering and/or absorbing it. But at some point, if impaired vision jeopardizes your normal lifestyle, you might need surgery. Fortunately, cataract removal is one of the safest, most effective and most common surgical procedures.
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area (an area you cannot see through) in the lens of the eye. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But as the clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with your vision. Many factors influence vision and cataract development including age, nutrition, heredity, medications, toxins, health habits, sunlight exposure, and head trauma. Today, cataract surgery is a common surgery in the United States, with over 1.5 million surgeries done yearly. The retina is the eye's light-sensitive layer that sends signals to the brain that are interpreted as vision. To produce a sharp image, the lens must remain clear. The rate of cataract progression can be unpredictable. Some cataracts worsen significantly within a few weeks; others remain unchanged for many years.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Early on in the development of senile cataract the power of the crystaline lens may be increased, causing myopia , and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. The lens is contained in a sealed bag or capsule. Any opacity in the lens within the eye whether congenital or acquired is called "Cataract".The commonest cataracts are the acquired ones especially "Senile cataract", where due to
sheer age the lens begins to degenerate, the semi permeability of the lens capsule becomes
impaired and the lens becomes opaque. Senile cataract is rare below the age of fifty years
unless associated with diabetes.
It is almost universal to some degree in persons over seventy.
It occurs equally in men and women and usually affects both eyes although one eye may
develop it earlier than the other eye. The term 'Cataract' actually means a waterfall, and refers to the opacity of the crystalline lens of the eye on the assumption that the condition is caused by the humour of the brain falling over the pupil. The crystalline lens, through which light travels into the interior of the eye, is situated just behind the iris, or coloured portion of the eye.
Symptom of Cataract
The first sign of cataract is blurred vision. The patient of Cataract finds it difficult to see things in focus. As the cataract progresses, the patient may get double vision or spots or both. There is a gradual increase in blindness. At first, vision in twilight may be better than in full daylight since light is admitted round the more widely-dilated pupil in the dark. In the advance stage, objects and persons may appear merely blobs of light. In the final stage of Cataract, the symptom shows that there is a grayish -white discolouration in the pupil.
Some common Symptoms of Cataract :
- A painless blurring of vision;
- Difficulty reading.
- Faded colors.
- Glare, or light sensitivity;
- Loss of color intensity.
- Poor night vision;
- Fading or yellowing of colors.
- Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision.
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription.
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger.)
Causes of Cataract
Cataract is often found in association with other defects of the eye. There are four factors which contribute to the loss of transparency of the lens. These are
- stagnation of the fluid current in the lens resulting from blood condition ;
- deterioration in the nutrition of the lens which diminishes the vitality and resistence of the delicate lens fibres ;
- deposits between the lens fibres of acids and salts which have an irritating effect on the lens tissues and exert an increasing pressure on its delicate fibres,
- clouding whole lens in the absence of appropriate measures.
Treatment and Cure of Cataract
Cataract is one of the most stubborn conditions to deal with, if it has become deep-seated, nothing short of a surgical operation will help in overcoming the trouble. If, however, the cataract is in the early stages, there are good chances of getting over the ailment by natural means. Even advanced cases can be prevented from becoming worse.
Here is the list of the methods for treating Cataract :
- Cataract surgery consists of removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.
- Sometimes there is an additional eye problem that cannot be treated without first having cataract surgery.
- A cataract surgeon will discuss the options with the patient, and together they will decide which type of removal and lens replacement is best.
- Many people choose to stay awake during surgery, while others choose to be sedated for a short time if you choose to remain awake, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the nerves in and around your eye.
- So far, no medication or diet has been found to slow down the growth of cataracts, and there is no medication that can clear a clouded lens.
- There are no medications, dietary supplements or exercises that have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts.
- Some self-care approaches, such as using a magnifying glass to read or improving the lighting in your home, may help you deal with the effects of having a cataract.