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Cataract is a crystalline lens opacity, which in a normal person is transparent. The lens, located behind the pupil and iris, helps focus the light, or an image on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. When a cataract is happening our "transparent glass window" is tarnished. A cataract is not a canvas on the eye, is not a contagious disease and not the cause of overuse of the eyes. The cataract can occur in one or both eyes. Cataract is not transmitted from one eye to another.
Most cataracts are due to aging, or related to age. Changes in the composition of water and protein in the lens makes it lose its transparency and slowly acquires a yellowish color. As the condition progresses the color is dark brown and then all layers of lens become opaque giving rise to what we call a mature cataract. The person with mature cataract only perceives light. It is important to understand that the progress of a cataract is very slow, is not an acute condition.
Risk factors for developing cataracts include: exposure to ultraviolet rays, trauma, inheritance, diseases like diabetes, medications like steroids and have had eye surgery previously, among others. There are also congenital cataracts.
The symptoms of patients with cataracts include: loss of vision gradually and without pain, poor vision at night or when there is very bright lights, the colors are opaque or yellowish, requires more light to read, you can see better now without the glasses that you used before; need more frequent changes in your prescription and double vision at the eye with the cataract when the other one is closed.
Cataracts are detected by an eye exam in which the practitioner observes the lens using a computer called "slit camera." When a cataract is well advanced and mature, can be seen with the naked eye, since the pupillary area which is normally "black" acquires a "white" appearance.
The treatment for cataracts is surgery, this is done by an ophthalmologist. If the cataract is not advanced and the patient can perform their daily tasks, it is possible that a change of glasses helps the patient to see more comfortably. Cataracts are not treated with medicines, and when it is in the more advanced states glasses will not be of much help. Surgery is better done when the cataracts are in a state that prevent the proper performance of everyday tasks, a decision has to be taken by the patient and doctor.
Cataracts surgery is an outpatient process. Usually the crystalline lens are removed under local anesthesia and replaced with a permanent intraocular lens. Then the patient returns to his home and must apply a few drops several times a day. Several doctor visits will be needed until the eye heals completely. This surgery has a 90% success.
The most important thing in eyecare is prevention. To avoid
or delay the condition of cataracts we can use glasses and hats to guard
are studies documenting the benefits of vitamins, anti-oxidants
and quitting smoking in reducing risks of cataracts related to age.
visiting an eye
professional at least once a year is essential in caring for the
this we can detect in time not only this condition, but other diseases
threatening the eye vision, as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy
degeneration related to age.