When talking about eyes problems as we get old, we'll be mentioning cataract, which is a common condition of blurred vision of the eye among elderly. So Let's start to answer the question of what are cataracts in the eyes? In Cataract condition, the lens of the eye shows cloudiness that interferes with vision. In a healthy eye, the lens, which focuses the rays of light, is completely transparent, giving a sharp and clear picture. In the eye with cataracts, the turbidity causes the lens to interfere with vision. With age, eye lenses lose their flexibility and the condense. The lens consists mainly of water and massive protein. The protein fibers are arranged in such a way that the lens is transparent and allows the light to pass through it uninterrupted. With age, the composition of the lens changes and the structure of the protein fibers breaks down. Some of the fibers become entangled in each other and obscure small areas of the lens. As the cataract develops, the mist increases and spreads to a wider area of the lens.
How does the cataracts develop?
The Cataracts usually develop slowly and do not cause any pain. At first, the fog only affects a small part of the lens and the patient is not always aware of vision impairment.
Over time, as the cataract spreads, it obscures a larger part of the lens and deforms the transition of light through the lens. The final process of damage to vision is expressed in general blurring, or distortion of the image. Scientists do not know exactly why the lens changes with age. One possibility is damage caused by unstable molecules, known as free radicals.
Smoking and exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) are two sources of free radicals. General wear of the lens over time can also cause changes in the protein fibers. Cataract eye disease can develop in one eye or in both eyes. In most cases, however, cataracts tend to develop symmetrically in both eyes. It may damage the entire lens, or only part of it.
The Fuzzy vision makes it difficult to read, to drive (especially at night) or to distinguish the facial expressions of friends. As fog progresses, cataracts eventually affect vision.
In the early stages, strong lighting and glasses can help with vision problems- here are some reading magnifying glass that can help reading
What Are the symptoms of Cataract?
- Fuzzy, blurry, or dim vision.
- Requires stronger lighting for reading and other activities.
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses.
- Increased difficulty in vision at night.
- Sensitivity to light and dazzle: For people with cataracts, sunlight, lamp light, or the light of an approaching car's headlight can look too bright.
- Halos around light sources.
- Double vision in one eye.
- Make colors appear faded or yellowish.
- Sometimes they feel tired in the eyes, or blink more frequently, to sharpen the vision.
Why it’s happening?
- Advanced age is the most common cause, Cataracts can develop in any person, for the simple reason that the most serious risk factor is age.
- Metabolic diseases and nutritional disorders: Metabolic diseases are caused by the lack of one enzyme or another responsible for the breakdown of substances in the body. Lack of enzyme often causes excessive accumulation of the material in various body tissues.
- Family history of cataracts: usually due to a genetic cause.
- Injuries or previous eye infections or eye surgery.
- Excessive exposure to sunlight: Prolonged exposure to the sun without proper protection may cause cataracts to occur at a younger age.
- Medications: Prolonged use of corticosteroids.
There are three types:
- Nuclear: A nuclear cataract develops in the center of the lens. The lens is gradually yellowing and the vision is blurred. When the cataract is advanced the lens can even reach a brown color. Visibility in dim light and driving at night may be problematic. Advanced fading can lead to difficulties in distinguishing between shades of blue and purple.
- Cortex: A cortical cataract begins as blurred patches in the form of wedges, or streaks on the outside of the lens shell. The cataract spreads slowly and the stripes spread toward the center and interfere with light passing through the center of the lens. People with this type of disease usually suffer from glare.
- Subcapsular: This kind of cataracts begin as a small opaque area, just below the capsule (outer layer) of the lens. It is usually created near the back of the lens, just in the path where the light passes, on its way to the retina. Subcapsular cataracts cause reading problems, reduce vision ability in a strong light and cause glare, or halos around light sources at night.
Methods of treatments:
when visual impairments threaten to change life habits, surgery is sometimes necessary. In Cataract Surgery The surgeon performs a small incision of a few millimeters, through which the murky natural lens is pumped out and the artificial lens inserted. Postoperative glasses will be fitted as needed and at least four weeks after surgery. Some patients will need only distance vision glasses, others will need reading glasses only, and some will have both. Learning more about cataracts:
Cataract and lens replacement postoperative instructions: