Cataract

introduction

What is Cataract?

The word “cataract” is derived from the Greek word katarraktes which loosely translates to waterfall. It was believed that a congealed fluid from the brain had flowed in front of the lens of the eyes. Today, eye cataract is defined as the clouding of the lens of your eyes.

When proteins present in the eye form clumps, it muddles the vision with a cloudy, hazy outline. It gradually develops and starts interfering with your vision and unless treated could lead to total blindness.

Some of the symptoms of cataract include

  • Cloudy/milky/foggy/blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Seeing a halo (glare) around lights especially when looking at headlights in the night
  • Double vision in few cases in the affected eye
  • Seeing a fading in colours
  • Need for brighter reading light
  • Growing sensitivity to sunlight and bright lights
  • Frequent prescription changes for glasses

What causes cataracts?

The major cause for cataract is age. Other than that, various factors can cause the formation of cataracts like:

  • Previous or untreated eye injury
  • Hypertension
  • Previous eye surgery
  • UV radiation
  • Long exposure to sunlight
  • Over usage of certain medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy

Types of Cataract

What is Cortical Cataract? Cortical cataracts are a kind of cataract that develops in the edges of the lens and...

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What is Intumescent Cataract? Intumescent cataract definition and meaning states that it is the older stage of cataract that progresses...

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What is Nuclear Cataract? An excessive amount of yellowing and light scattering affecting the centre of the lens is called...

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What is Posterior Subcapsular Cataract? Posterior Subcapsular cataract is a type of cataract, where in, there is opacification in the...

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What is Rosette Cataract? Rosette cataract is a type of traumatic cataract. Traumatic cataract is the clouding of the lens...

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What is Traumatic Cataract? Traumatic cataract is clouding of the lens and eyes that may occur after either blunt or penetrating...

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Risk Factors

These factors can increase the likelihood of developing cataracts

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Steroid medication
  • Family History
prevention

Prevention

Cataract prevention can be done if proper care is taken. Some of them include:

  • Regular eye check-ups
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Eating fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants
  • Wearing UV blocking sunglasses while going out in sunlight

Diagnosis

A thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist is recommended to determine the presence of a cataract. A comprehensive medical eye examination should be done. This is achieved by the following tests: 

  • Visual Acuity test – This test will assess the clarity and sharpness of your vision. Here, each eye will be tested individually to check the ability of the eye to see letters of different sizes placed at a distance.

  • Slit-lamp exam – A special microscope is used in this test to examine the cornea, iris, lens and other parts of the eye. This lens bends light as it enters into the eye making it easier for the ophthalmologist to spot abnormalities.

  • Retinal exam – Here, eye drops are put in the eyes to widen the pupils. The ophthalmologist can examine the retina and optic nerves and to also look for glaucoma.


Written by:
Dr. Moses Rajamani – Consultant Ophthalmologist, Kanchipuram

Treatments

Cataract is the most widely known eye disease in which the natural crystalline lens inside the eye gets cloudy This...

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Cataract is the opacification of natural clear lens As a part of treatment cataract has to be removed and replaced...

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Doctor Speaks: All about Cataracts

21 December 2020

Dr. Soundari

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