What is the Main Cause of Cataract?

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Cataracts occur when proteins and fibers in the lens break down. These clumps cloud the lens, making it hard for light to get through.

These clumps also interfere with the lens’ ability to focus light on your retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye). This changes the way you see.

Causes

The clear lens inside your eye helps to focus light on the retina, which sends images to the brain. When it gets clouded, this causes a cataract to form.

The lens is made up of water and protein, which are arranged in a specific way that lets light pass through them. Over time, the proteins in the lens break down and clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy.

Aging, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV), and certain medical conditions such as diabetes are all risk factors for developing cataracts. Having a family history of cataracts is also a factor.

Cataracts develop slowly, and they may not cause any problems during the early stages. However, as they progress, the clouding becomes larger and more of your vision is affected.

People who develop cataracts have a higher risk of vision loss and blindness. It’s important to talk with your doctor if you are over age 40 and have any concerns about your vision.

There are several types of cataracts, including congenital cataracts that are present at birth, traumatic cataracts and secondary cataracts, which are caused by other conditions, such as diabetes or eye infections. Some cataracts may be mild and not cause any changes in vision, while others may be severe and need to be removed.

Surgical removal of the cataract is usually necessary when it is too severe to be treated with medications or other treatments. It is important to discuss this option with your eye doctor so that he can help you choose the best option for your eyesight.

Changes in Seeing at Night – People with cataracts often experience gradual worsening of their night vision. This leads to a need for brighter light to see clearly and can make it difficult to drive at night or in poor lighting conditions.

Increased Light Sensitivity – Patients who have cataracts report increased pain or discomfort with strong sunlight and bright lights. This is called glare or photophobia, and it can make driving at night or in poor lighting conditions more dangerous.

Double Vision in One Eye – In the early stages, some people with cataracts may experience monocular double vision – a problem where you can see two separate objects with one eye. This is more likely to happen with a cataract in the right eye, as opposed to in the left eye.

Symptoms

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens that sits in your eye behind the pupil. It affects how you see, because it stops light from passing properly through the lens to the retina.

Most cataracts develop because of aging. However, they can also appear as a result of injury to the eye or after eye surgery. In some cases, inherited genetic disorders can increase your risk of developing cataracts.

The main cause of cataract is a build-up of proteins in the lens. These proteins break down over time, making your lens cloudy and causing vision to become blurry.

You may be able to slow the development of cataracts by protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. This means wearing sunglasses that block all UVA and UVB rays from entering your eyes.

Other things that can make you more likely to develop cataracts include a family history of the condition, smoking, diabetes and taking steroid medications for long periods of time. If you have these factors, make sure you get regular eye exams and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

Cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. Symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty seeing in low light and difficulty identifying colors.

Your ophthalmologist will examine your eye with a special slit-lamp microscope. He or she will check for other eye conditions and diagnose a cataract by testing your vision with a visual acuity test.

If your ophthalmologist detects a cataract, you may need to have it removed. This is usually done under a local anesthetic.

Cataract surgery takes about an hour and is very safe. During the procedure, your ophthalmologist will remove the cataract using an incision in your cornea and replace it with an artificial lens that is similar to your natural eye lens.

Most people who have cataract surgery find it improves their vision. If your vision worsens after surgery, it can be corrected with new glasses or contact lenses. A few people may need to have cataract surgery again later in life, but this can usually be avoided if you follow your doctor’s recommendations and take good care of your eyes.

Diagnosis

Cataracts are common eye diseases that affect most people at some point in their life. They can interfere with vision and even lead to blindness if left untreated.

The lens of the eye is made up of protein and water that helps to focus light onto the retina (the light-sensitive part of the eye). As you age, certain proteins in your lens begin to clump together, forming a cloudy substance that can cause problems with your sight.

Your doctor can diagnose cataracts using a variety of tests. These tests include visual acuity testing, a retinal exam, slit-lamp examination and other eye exams to evaluate your eyes’ structures and health.

A visual acuity test is one of the most common ways to determine whether you have cataracts. The doctor will ask you to read letters of different sizes from an eye chart, each eye at a time.

If you have a cataract, you may have difficulty identifying the letters on the chart under bright lights, called glare sensitivity. This is another sign that you have cataracts and should be checked right away.

You will also need to take a test that demonstrates how well you can see the letters at different distances, called potential acuity. You will be asked to look at an object against a white background while your eyes are corrected with eye drops.

After you have completed these tests, your eye doctor will use a slit-lamp to look at the front of your eyes and the back of your eyes, or retinas. You will then be given special eye drops to dilate your pupils so that your doctor can get a better look at the inside of your eyes and see if there is a cataract or other problem.

Your eye care professional will also ask you about your symptoms and other medical conditions you have. This can help to make the final diagnosis more accurate. It can also help your doctor to decide if you are a good candidate for surgery.

Treatment

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye that interferes with vision. It occurs mainly as a result of getting older, but it can also be caused by other health problems or medical treatments like diabetes and steroids like prednisone.

Cataracts usually develop slowly and don’t affect vision at first, but they eventually impact the ability to see clearly. They can make a person’s vision blurred or distorted, cause them to have a hard time reading in dim light or in bright sunlight, or give them the sense that they are seeing double.

In some cases, a person’s vision can improve with the use of different eyeglasses or contacts. However, when these changes no longer provide a clear view, surgery may be recommended.

It’s important to have a full diagnosis of your cataract before you begin treatment. Your doctor will check for signs of other health conditions and possible medical treatments that may be the cause. This includes a test called pupil dilation, where your doctor will widen the black part of your eye (the pupil) with special eye drops to get a closer look at your retina.

There are several types of cataracts that form in the eye. They include senile cataracts, nuclear cataracts, and polychromatic cataracts.

Senile cataracts are usually smaller and form outside the center of your lens capsule. They can come on quickly after an injury, like a ball hit in your eye, or they can take years to appear. If you have senile cataracts, your eye doctor might suggest treatment to prevent them from affecting your vision.

Nuclear cataracts are much more common and form just inside the center of your lens capsule. They can also develop more quickly than other kinds of cataracts and you might start noticing symptoms within months.

In this type of cataract, you have shiny, colored crystals in the lens. These can be more difficult to treat than senile cataracts. These cataracts are a risk if you have diabetes, so it’s important to get them treated as soon as possible.

 

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