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A cataract is defined as clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works mainly like a camera lens. It does such by focusing light onto the retina at the back of eye. The lens also adjusts the eye’s focus and thus helps people to see things clearly both the close and far away one’s.

The lens is chiefly made up of water and protein. The protein is arranged in such a way that it keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it. But due to ageing effects, some of the proteins may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. But at the time progresses, it may grow larger and forms a cloud over too much area of the lens and hence makes it harder to see.

Types of Cataract

Cortical Cataract: It is commonly formed in the lens cortex. Gradually, it extends it spokes from the outside of the lens to the centre. Cortical cataract is commonly seen in diabetes.

Nuclear Cataract: This type of cataract is formed in the nucleus , in the centre of the lens and is due to natural aging changes.

Sub Capsular Cataract: It begins at the back of the lens. People suffering from diabetes, high farsightedness and those taking high doses of steroids may develops a sub capsular cataracted.

Symptoms of Cataract

The beginning of cataract is in the form of small thing and at first it has little effect on the vision. Person may experience, the blurred vision just like looking through a cloudy piece of glass.

A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem to bright or glaring. Cataract sufferers does not feel the colours as bright as they earlier seemed to be. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about of temporary improvement in the near vision and it is known as the ‘second sight’.

But it has been noted that this improved vision is short and it disappears as the cataract worsens. Moreover, the sub capsular cataract until it is well developed.

Causes of Cataract

The exact causes of cataract is not known. No one knows surely that why the eye’s lens changes as the person’s increases and leading to development of cataract. It has been known that the exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development.

Hence, it is generally advised to wear sunglasses and a vide brimmed hat in order to decrease the exposure to ultraviolet may also lead to formation of cataract. It has been known that the airline pilots have a higher risk of developing nuclear cataract than non pilots, because of the exposure to cosmic radiation only, the astronauts are at high risk of developing cataract.

Diabetic sufferers are also at high risk for developing cataract. Other risk factors include cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy alcohol intake.

Treatment of Cataract

It is believed that a diet high in antioxidants such as bet a carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and E prevents the cataract development. But eating a lot of salt may increase the risk for cataract development. Cataract Surgery is a simple, painless procedure to region vision. It is very successful in restoring vision.

During surgery, the clouded lens is removed from the eye and it is replaced with a clear, plastic intra ocular lens. The new intra ocular lens, lets the patients seen at all distances and it also blocks both ultraviolet and blue light rays which are capable of damaging the retina. It is the most frequently performed surgery and helps the people in regaining very good vision.


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