Cataracts are a condition whereby the lenses in one’s eye become cloudy, thereby affecting vision and rendering them unable to function normally. Cataracts often occur in the elderly, as well as those who have suffered eye injuries before.
The condition can often start off at a tiny pinprick-sized area but can progress to cover the entire eye lens if left untreated. Many people are still unaware of the facts surrounding cataracts, so here are some useful things to know:
What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?
– Nearsightedness, unable to see things that are far away clearly
– Blurry, foggy, filmy or cloudy vision
– Changes in the way color is perceived
– Difficulty driving at night
– Sensitivity to glare from sunlight, preference for dim rooms
– Spectacles or other vision correcting tools not working as well as they did
– Double vision
What Causes Cataracts? In general, the buildup of protein in the eyes causes a non-transparent layer to build up, blocking light from entering the lenses. Usually, the body is able to get rid of these proteins naturally and keep the lens clear, but in the case of cataract patients, this system either malfunctions or slows down significantly.
Multiple Types of Cataracts There are many types of cataracts. The first type affects the elderly and happens as people age. The second type is called congenital cataracts and happens in newborn infants. The third type is secondary cataracts and it happens to those suffering from medical conditions like diabetes, or to those taking certain medications like corticosteroids and diuretics.
Secondary cataracts can also be a result of exposure to toxic waves like radiation or ultraviolet light. Lastly, there are trauma related cataracts that occur in individuals that have suffered from some form of eye injury.
How Do I Know if I Have Cataracts or Not? The only way you can confirm if you have cataracts is to visit a doctor, particularly an ophthalmologist. You’ll be subjected to vision exams and asked to identify alphabets or images at a distance, and the doctor may also dilate your lenses to have a better look. Always remember to bring your prescription glasses along
Are Cataracts Treatable? The good news is, cataracts are completely treatable and it isn’t a life-threatening condition at all. For minor cataract cases, the doctor may prescribe either glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision. In more extreme cases where the cataract cover is severe, surgery may be recommended.
Cataract surgery is a fast and painless process whereby the natural eye lens of a patient is removed and replaced with a synthetically-made lens. Surgery is often the most effective form of treatment as the affected natural lens that is clouded over is completely removed. This treatment approach has a very high rate of success, and you don’t even have to be admitted to the hospital to undergo it. Nowadays, cataract surgery can be performed in a matter of minutes in the doctor’s office itself, without any sedation.
What Are The Risk Factors for Contracting Cataracts? People who are obese, have diabetes, smoke, drink alcohol excessively or have high blood pressure are at an increased risk of developing cataracts. There’s also a higher chance of developing it if you have had a previous eye injury or inflammation, have had eye surgery before and are taking corticosteroids for the long term. Exposure to excessive sunlight and UV light can also give rise to cataracts.
You can try to avoid unhealthy habits such as drinking or smoking to reduce the chances of cataracts. However, if it does develop as you get older, you can rest assured that there are effective methods to keep treat it and keep it under control. There are numerous clinics and hospitals offering cataract surgery in Singapore, so you can rest easy that help is abundant and available at any time.