Cataract | Types, Causes, Symptoms, Preventions
If you have trouble seeing far or near or have any problem in seeing while driving and or have difficulty in understanding the facial expressions of someone, then you understand that in your eyes Cataract is developing.
Only in India, about 10 million people are getting blind from both eyes, and about 2 million new cases of cataract occur every year. 62.6 percent of blind people in India are due to cataracts only.
But in modern times, our doctors have many state-of-the-art techniques due to which cataract surgery became very easy, and often the surgery is also effective.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blindness caused by cataracts in India has decreased by about 25 percent since the year 2003, which is a good sign. And the biggest reason for decreasing the percentage of cataracts is the awareness of surgery.
What is a cataract?
The lens which is present in our eyes can be seen easily and clearly. The lens helps to focus light or any image on the retina.
The retina is a very sensitive tissue on the back of your eyes. In normal eyes, light travels to the retina through a transparent lens. And when the light reaches the retina, it turns into nerve signals and is sent to the brain.
If you want to see something sharp through the retina, then it’s very important to clean the lens in your eyes. And whenever your lens starts becoming cloudy, so it’s become hard for light to reach the retina, and due to this you don’t see clearly but rather appear blurred. Due to this obstruction of vision is known as cataract or white cataract.
And due to blurred vision or people suffering from cataract, they oftentimes face problems in reading, or in driving a car (especially at night), and sometimes due to Night blindness, you also face some type of problems including driving.
There are 7 types of cataracts
- NUCLEAR CATARACTS
- CORTICAL CATARACT
- POSTERIOR SUBCAPSULAR CATARACTS
- CONGENITAL CATARACTS
- RADIATION CATARACTS
- TRAUMATIC CATARACTS
- SECONDARY CATARACT
Nuclear cataracts start developing in the middle of the lenses and change the nucleus or center, to pale yellow or lite brown color. And this cataract is also known as nuclear sclerotic cataract, and most of the time It’s seen by doctors.
The cortical cataract is shaped like a nail in appearance and it surrounds the edges of the nucleus, which is called the cortex.
Due to this type of cataract, you may have to face a lot of problems in driving at night and you will also have trouble in identifying colors or estimating how far an object is.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
The posterior subcapsular cataract affects the posterior part of the lenses much faster than both types of cataracts which we have described above.
It occurs at the place from which the light reaches the lenses. And it badly affects your close-ups vision and because of this, you have trouble seeing in more light.
This is the type of cataract that occurs from the time of birth to children and in some cases, it develops in the first year of child’s birth, although this type of cataract does not appear in most cases.
The biggest reason for this is due to your genes or rubella. Which is a type of disease that occurs during pregnancy to the mother.
For your information, you should remember that you must protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.
It happens many times when you go out in heavy sunlight without securing your eyes and this causes you to have cataracts.
It can also be caused by repeated injuries and you can get this type of cataract even if your eyes are hit or burnt by some type of glue.
Cataracts caused by any other disease are called secondary cataracts. It’s often caused by glaucoma or diabetes. Also, it can be caused by steroid prednisone or any other medicine.
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If you start seeing less or unclear due to increasing age, then do not ignore it at all. Because you can get this disease due to blurring of vision.
There are many symptoms of this disease, for example, when this disease will start affecting you then you’ll have trouble seeing an object, to recognize this disease, read the following symptoms:
- High blood pressure
- Family history of cataract
- Injury or swelling in the eyes
- Excess exposure to sunlight
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Previously underwent eye surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroids modification
In most cases, cataracts develop slowly, although, in the beginning, it does not affect our eyesight significantly, over time it affects our ability to see, due to which the person affected by cataracts have trouble do daily work. And the symptoms of this disease are following
- Blurred vision
- Myopia in the elderly
- Day time eyes blind
- Difficulty in identifying colors
- Sudden change in the number of glasses
- Dual vision (When you see the single object but it appears to be double)
- Having trouble driving at night, for example, your eyes dazzled when looks the headlight of the car that from the front.
Although, till yet, there are no proven facts about how we can stop the cataract before it develops or how we can slow the pace of its development.
But still, according to doctors several strategies can prove helpful in the prevention of cataract, and these are following:
If you are over 40 years of age, then you should get your eyes checked regularly.
Ultraviolet rays of the sun can help in the development of cataracts. So don’t forget to wear sunglasses especially when your eyes are already weak.
If you are suffering from diabetes or any other health problem then it will also increase the risk of cataracts.
You must exercise daily and keep your weight normal.
Include different fruits and vegetables in your diet. They contain a lot of antioxidants which helps in keeping the eyes healthy.
If you smoke, then leave it soon and minimize alcohol consumption or stop drinking alcohol if possible.
Diagnosis of cataract
A comprehensive test of the patient’s eyes is first performed by a doctor to test for cataracts.
In this test, the doctor makes a chart to check the patient’s vision with the help of tonometry at different distances to measure eye pressure and check the vision.
The most common tonometry test uses painless, air puffs to flatten a patient’s cornea. Then the doctor tests the patient’s eye pressure.
And often, the doctor puts a few drops of medicine into the eye to enlarge the patient’s pupil, because if this, it because easier to check the optic nerve and retina.
Sometimes, to check for cataracts, the doctor also tests the patient’s sensitivity to light and color recognition.
Treatment of cataract
Surgery is the only option when you do not see clearly with glasses or lenses.
Surgery is the only option when you have trouble seeing even by wearing lenses or glasses, in the same way, the doctor also recommends surgery when you have problems in your daily life due to a cataract.
Do not get eye surgery done in haste because it can be left a bad impact on your eyes, but if you have diabetes then do not delay in getting surgery.
Types of cataract surgery
Intracapsular cataract extraction
In this process, both the lens and lens capsules are taken out by the doctor, but this technique is not much used by doctors.
Extracapsular cataract extraction
This product is so known as the phacoemulsification process, and in this process, the lens of the eye is broken by ultrasound waves, after which the lens is pulled out by a small hollow tube.
Phaco surgery is also called Phacoemulsification surgery and it’s the new cataract surgical method. In this surgery eye’s internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece then aspirated from the eye.
When to have cataract surgery
Whenever you start feeling that your daily activities are getting disturbed due to cataract, then you should get surgery,
Often both eye surgeries are not performed at the same time.
Firstly doctor performs eye surgery and if the vision is improving after the surgery then the second eye surgery can also be done on the next day. But it depends on the patient and the doctor.
What should I not do after cataract surgery?
If you have undergone eye surgery, then you should not read finely written writing for a few days. You can do some work like walking, reading, writing and watching TV. But in the first week after surgery, you should not do any work that causes you fatigue or stress on the eyes, although there is no diet for this disease, still you should eat vegetables or fruits with vitamin A.
Many times the patient starts seeing clear immediately after the surgery but in most cases, the patients start seeing clearly after a day or two.
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