Vision is one of our senses that plays a lovely melody by bringing color and intricate details into our world. But just as mist gradually obscures a clear view, cataracts appear, reducing visibility and altering our perception of the world.
In this article, we will discuss Cataracts and Vision loss, including their causes, effects on us, and incredible medical developments that can help patients regain their vision.
Fact: Even before the age of 65, one out of every three people has some sort of vision loss or eye disease.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are not a new thing – people have known about them for a really long time. The term ‘cataract’ originates from an ancient Greek word that described the hazy lens in the eye as ‘waterfall.’ They are a major issue worldwide, accounting for over half of all blindness cases. Newborns can also develop cataracts, and they can sometimes progress rapidly.
When cataracts appear, this indicates that the lens’s proteins are disintegrating. It’s because of this you might experience blurry vision or trouble focusing on objects, this might initially appear to be a refractive error.
Fact: Cataracts aren’t a recent discovery. Ancient texts like the Ebers Papyrus from ancient Egypt, dating back to 1550 BC, described them. This suggests that cataracts have been a known condition for millennia.
When a cataract initially develops, it may only affect a small portion of the eye’s lens, and you may not experience any cataract vision loss. Your lens becomes more clouded and distorted as the cataract enlarges, covering more of the lens. The symptoms might become more obvious as a result.
Symptoms Of Cataracts
Cataract symptoms and signs include:
- vision that is cloudy, blurry, or dim
- increasing night-time vision challenges
- a sensitivity to glare and light
- Activities like reading require an increased or brighter light.
- Perceiving “halos.
- prescription for glasses or contacts changing frequently
- color fading or yellowing
- Having double vision in just one eye
Also Read: 5 Fascinating Facts About Cataracts
Effect of Cataracts:
The experience of vision loss for those who have cataracts can be emotionally taxing. Simple pleasures like driving, reading a book, or even recognizing friends become difficult tasks. Things that used to be simple now require more patience and effort. Frustration, anxiety, and a feeling of loneliness can result from the gradual change from clear vision to blurred vision.
How Is A Cataract And Vision Loss Identified?
Cataracts are identified by ophthalmologists and optometrists through a thorough eye examination. Your healthcare professional will carefully examine your eyes to detect cataracts and determine their severity. Your healthcare provider will also inquire about your vision, medical history, and whether you are finding it difficult to perform daily tasks because your vision isn’t what it used to be.
Common type of examinations to detect cataracts are:
How Can Cataracts and Vision Loss Be Effectively Treated?
The optimal solution for cataracts is undergoing cataract surgery. This procedure, performed by an ophthalmologist, involves the removal of the cloudy natural lens and its replacement with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), a permanent fixture in the eye. Various IOL options are available, tailored to your needs and preferences, which your healthcare professional can detail.
The primary advantage of an IOL is its transparency, akin to a clear natural lens. Additionally, it can address refractive errors, potentially reducing dependence on glasses or contacts post-surgery.
Is Cataract Surgery A Safe Choice?
Cataract surgery stands as one of the most secure and frequently conducted surgeries. Serious complications are rare, though it’s important to acknowledge potential risks such as infection or retinal detachment.
Individual risk levels can be influenced by underlying medical conditions or eye ailments. It’s wise to discuss your personal risk profile with your optometrist before undergoing surgery and to inquire about their strategies for managing any potential complications.
The path to recovery post-cataract surgery involves manageable discomfort or slight pain, which can be alleviated with pain relievers prescribed by your provider, typically needed for a day or two.
While a complete recovery spans four to eight weeks, vision enhancements are often noticeable sooner. Your healthcare professional will guide you on the safe resumption of regular activities.
Cataracts and Preventing Vision Loss
The prevention of cataracts does not exist. There are no conclusive cause-and-effect relationships for cataracts in eye research. But there are steps you can take to delay their development of blindness:
- When outdoors, wear hats to shield your skin from UV rays.
- Avoid fluorescent lighting because it causes more glare, which makes it difficult to see.
- As prescribed by a doctor, think about taking nutritional supplements like daily multivitamins.
- Reduce night-time driving to reduce strain on eyes.
After being told you have cataracts, the best way to prevent going blind is to have regular eye exams to monitor how your condition is developing.