Cataract is basically clouding of the eye lens that is normally clear and is a condition that begins to prevail as people age. Elderly people are usually unable to see clearly when the eye lens gets translucent and undergo cataract eye surgery if the vision diminishes to the point of blindness. Cataracts mostly develop over time and do not tamper much with the vision. It may occur in one or both the eyes. However, as time goes on cataracts begin to blur the vision and make it difficult to read or drive a car even. Though strong lightning or eyeglasses can temporarily cure the condition, they are not a long term solution as the eyesight degenerates over the years. Cataract eye surgery may then be pursued which is otherwise a very safe and reliable alternative.
Cataract is usually characterized by blurred vision, impaired night vision, colors appearing faded, aggravated sensitiveness to glare, seeing lights surrounded by halos, seeing things as double or changing prescription glasses repetitively. Cataract is usually caused by smoking, overproduction of oxidants, UV radiation, consistent usage of steroids and other medicines, diabetes, trauma, radiation therapy etc. Risk factors associated with cataract include alcoholism, old age, obesity, smoking, high BP, past family history of the condition, any eye injuries in the past, diabetes, repeated exposure to sun, X-Rays or other cancer treatments. Preventive measures to reduce the risk of developing cataract and saving yourself from cataract eye surgery include protecting your eyes using sunglasses, having regular eye assessments, limit smoking, have fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants, keeping your weight, diabetes or other medical conditions in check.
Cataract can be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist who will perform several examinations to assess your eye. Firstly, he might do an eye chart test to examine your vision at variable distances. Then, he might perform a tonometry test using a puff of air to painlessly flatten your cornea and measure your eye pressure. Then he will use eye drops to expand your pupil and check for damage in the optic nerve and retina at the back of your eye. Further examinations may include checking how sensitive you are to glare and how you perceive colors. Depending on your requirement, your doctor may suggest more powerful or magnifying glasses for you or he may suggest that you go in for sunglasses that protect you from glare. Surgical intervention may be needed if vision has grown worse enough to prevent you from going about your daily routine. Also, to avoid interference in the treatment of other eye issues, cataract eye surgery may be performed to be rid of a cataract. Another type of surgery called phacoemulsification uses ultrasound to remove the affected portions of lens whereas extracapsular surgery helps replace the frosty lens with an artificial inocular lens. Cataract surgery is known to be very successful and is done in a single day leaving you absolutely fit to work normally the next day on. Cataract may not necessarily grow but once even a small patch comes upon the eye, it is permanent until treated. In worst case scenarios, it may lead to blindness and mi require cataract eye surgery.