Cataracts: Everything You Need to Know

If you are over the age of 40 and have noticed that your vision is a little blurry – almost as though you are looking through a cloudy piece of glass or foggy window – then it’s time to book an eye exam with your optometrist immediately. This ‘fogginess’ is a often a sign of Cataracts.

What is Cataracts? 

Cataracts is a ‘clouding’ of the eye’s lens, which happens when the proteins in the lens becomes defective and forms a mass, hence blocking light from passing through the eye. It often occurs naturally as one is aging and can sometimes lead to loss of sight.

Types of Cataracts 

Nuclear Cataract: This occurs due to aging. It develops right in the central zone of the lens.

Cortical Cataract starts in the outer part of the lens and works through to the center, with a white, wedge-like, non-transparent look.

Subcapsular Cataract can be found at the back of the lens. People that take high doses of steroid medication are at a greater risk of getting this type of Cataract.

Causes of Cataracts

  • Aging
  • Surgery for another eye problem such as Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Use of steroids
  • Trauma after an eye injury
  • Smoking and excessive drinking
  • Exposure to some types of radiation and UV light
  • Hereditary factors

Symptoms of Cataracts 

The best way to find out if you have Cataracts is to go see your optometrist. However, it is good to have knowledge of the symptoms. The symptoms include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Light from headlights, sunlight, lamps appearing too bright, a halo forming around these lights when you look at them
  • Not seeing properly at night while driving (even when there are street lights)
  • Colours are not as bright anymore when you look at them
  • Seeing double or multiple images

Preventions of Cataracts 

First and foremost, we recommend to quit smoking! Furthermore, reduce your exposure to sunlight by wearing protective eyewear and wide-brimmed hats, and try to incorporate Vitamin E and other carotenoids from foods and supplements into your diet, like green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It is also a good idea to reduce or stop your alcohol consumption.

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