A cataract is formed due to clouding of the area around the lens of the eye. It blocks the passage of light into the retina. Hence, it causes problems in vision.
Mostly, the cataract develops slowly without disturbing the eyesight in early stages. But over a period of time, it does disrupt the eyesight.
One of the most common causes of cataract is thebuildup of proteins in the lens, which makes it cloudy. It prevents the passage of light to retina causing vision problems.
Cataract can also be caused due to genetic disorders, diabetes, trauma, long term use of steroids and past eye surgery.
The types of cataracts include: age-related cataract, congenital cataract, secondary cataract and traumatic cataract.
Age-related cataract: It is caused due to aging.
Congenital cataract: In some cases, children maybe born with cataract due to poor development or an injury or an infection.
Secondary cataract: It is caused as a result of medical conditions like diabetes, exposure to UV light, radiation and so on.
Traumatic cataract: It is caused post an eye injury.
Several other factors that increase the risk of cataract include excessive drinking, cigarettes smoking and air pollution.
Cataract symptoms include:
- Dim, clouded or blurred vision
- Fading of colors
- Double vision in affected eye
- Problem with light and glare
- Visualizing a halo effect around a light source
The doctor diagnoses cataract by reviewing the medical history, signs and symptoms as well as an eye test which include: visual acuity test, slit lamp examination and retinal examination.
Visual acuity test: A reading test, that helps determining the reading ability.
Slit lamp examination: A test conducted using slit lamp, that helps diagnosing the structure formed in front of the eye under magnification.
Retinal examination: A test conducted using dilating drops, to examine the retina.
The treatment of cataract can be done in both surgical and non-surgical ways.
The doctor may recommend wearing eyeglasses or contact lens, if the vision can be corrected non-surgically. But if the vision cannot be corrected with the help of eyeglasses or contact, the doctor may recommend a cataract surgery.