Signs and causes of cataracts

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Causing blurry vision and even vision loss, cataract is common eye disease among old people. As people grow older, the eye’s natural lens features clouding, opacity, yellowing and accumulation of fluid. In most cases, cataracts occur firstly in one eye and then both eyes. Most young individuals have a healthy lens that is transparent. Responsible for focusing light on the retina, the lens is a clear part of the eye. In a normal status, all light pass through the transparent lens to the retina. The lens of a cataract patient’s eye is partially opaque, and thus the retina can not receive a clear and sharp image.

Signs of cataracts

Cataracts are usually very small at the beginning and gradually grow larger over time. Early signs of cataracts include blurry vision and night halos and glare. In people with refractive visual errors, cataracts always cause a rapid prescription change because the lens is deteriorating. Only when daily lives are disrupted, cataracts require external removal. In some cases, tiny small cataracts in infants or youngsters do not draw serious concern.

Cataract treatment

Early detection and treatment are critical for cataracts, which can save the patient’s eyesight to a largest degree. Ordinary people are highly recommended to receive annually comprehensive dilated eye health exam so as to monitor for cataracts, as well as other eye diseases such as retinal degeneration, glaucoma and so on. As mentioned before, advanced cataracts should be removed, because the patient’s eyesight has been considerably affected. At this stage, some daily entertainments have to be canceled. Cataract surgery is now the standard treatment that is always effective and keeps a high success rate.

Different reasons for cataract formation

It is necessary to know potential reasons that cause cataracts. Besides the eye’s natural aging, eye surgery for glaucoma and other conditions can also contribute to cataract formation. Diabetes may cause rapidly permanent or reversible cataracts. Even prescription steroid medications are sometimes related to cataract development. Another possible factor is eye injury. Serious eye injuries sometimes lead to age-related cataracts. Cataracts can also be congenital or develop in young children. High dosage or long-term UV radiation exposure has also been reported to cause cataracts. Smoking can be a great contributor to the development of cataracts at a young age. In addition, smoking is also commonly associated with other health conditions, e.g. blindness, glaucoma and central retinal degeneration.

Various approaches to cataract prevention

Prevention is always better than treatment. Sunglasses or goggles are helpful in preventing cataracts formation because excessive UV exposure can trigger cataracts. Experts also recommend some healthy foods for cataract prevention. A lot of antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and special plants pigments are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Leafy green vegetables and fruits are great sources of these antioxidants. Furthermore, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and less refined foods are also helpful in reducing the incidence of cataracts.