One of the most common eye afflictions is a cataract. This is “a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye” (American Optometric Association). According to the National Eye Institute, 24.4 million people in the United States were diagnosed with cataracts in 2010. During the same year, the World Health Organization reported that 51% of the blind people in the world (20 million people) were sightless due to cataracts.
What is a cataract?
When the lens of your eye becomes more opaque than clear you may be developing cataracts. The lens refracts light and focuses images on to the retina. As we age, the proteins within our eyes may begin to clump and create a clouded area otherwise known as a cataract. Besides aging, causes of cataracts include Genetics, Injury, Surgery, Medical Conditions, Drug use, UV exposure, Smoking, Inflammation, and Alcohol.
Three types of cataracts exist:
• Nuclear cataract sits in the center of the eyes and can result in increased nearsightedness. At first, you may notice an improvement in your reading vision possible. However, after time, you will experience a yellowing/browning lens.
• Cortical cataracts are mostly white and are located on the edge of the lens and work toward the middle. You may notice more problems with light glare or that you only have vision in one eye (monocular diplopia).
• Posterior capsular cataracts affect the back of the eye’s lens. These mostly develop in cases of diabetics or steroid users.
If you have one of the symptoms below, be sure to set up an appointment and talk to your eye doctor:
• Blurry vision
• Color issues
• Light sensitivity
• Night vision changes
• Prescription alterations
• Double vision
• Depth perception issues
The lens is made it refracts light and focuses images on to the retina. As we age, the proteins within our eyes begin to clump and create a clouded area otherwise known as a cataract. Besides aging, causes of cataracts include Genetics, Injury, Surgery, Medical Conditions, Drug use, UV exposure, Smoking, Inflammation, and Alcohol.
Each year, approximately 3 million Americans undergo surgery for cataracts.
Can I Prevent Cataracts?
Here are 5 tips that may help to prevent the onset of cataracts:
• First, eat right. Watching nutrition is crucial to your health. Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are necessary to fight this eye affliction.
• Get annual eye exams. This is especially important as you age. Your ophthalmologist can determine the slightest protein buildup in your eye.
• Manage health problems that you have. Keeping your health optimum truly benefits all of you.
• Wear sunglasses. The snow and the sun can harm your eyes.
• Stop smoking. Let your eyes breathe.
If you do feel that your eyes are not focusing correctly or see hazy halos, please visit your ophthalmologist for a checkup.