Cataracts – What You Need to Know

Developing cataracts is inevitable for most people. What starts out as slightly blurry vision slowly progresses into a serious issue that involves yellowing, blurry, foggy vision. Some people do not notice the symptoms until cataracts are well developed and have to seek out an ophthalmologist.

What is a cataract?

A cataract occurs as a result of gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The clouding prevents light from reaching the retina (the back of the eye). When clouding occurs, vision tends to be blurry and worsens over time. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

Risk Factors include but are not limited to:

  1. Ultraviolet radiation exposure from sunlight
  2. Diabetes
  3. Genetics- Family history
  4. Obesity
  5. Previous eye injury, surgery or inflammation

How to prevent it?

Cataracts cannot be completely prevented but precautions can be enacted.

  1. Increase intake of antioxidants  (vitamins A, C, and E)
  2. Quit Smoking
  3. Wear dark sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
  4. Try to avoid outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 3.p.m, when the sun is most intense.

Treatment

Using phacoemulsification, a small incision is made and the cataract is broken apart by using ultrasound. The debris is removed and an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted though the incision which unfolds in the eye.

A cataract doesn’t sound like an eye disease anyone would want to suffer from. However, with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, development of cataracts can be slowed down.