Cataract

4 Nov 2017

Many people are in fact unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision have been so gradual.

Keen ancient Greek observers noticed similar-appearing changes in the eye and attributed visual loss from “cataracts” as an accumulation of this turbulent fluid, having no knowledge of the anatomy of the eye or the status or importance of the lens. Significant cataracts block and distort light passing through the lens, causing visual symptoms and complaints. Frequent refractions and corrective lens prescription changes may help maintain useful vision during cataract development.

Live long enough and chances are you will develop cataracts, the age-related clouding of the eye and the No. 1 cause of blindness worldwide. Sometimes, older children can develop cataracts for the same reasons or because of a blow to the eye. However, according to the American Optometric Association, approximately 90 percent of patients who undergo cataract surgery report better vision the day after their procedure.

Advanced cataracts will cause more severe changes in your eyesight. In some instance of early stage cataracts, you may develop what is known as “second sight,” in which your close up vision will actually improve before your eyesight starts to decline over all. It is not unusual for cataracts patients to seek treatment only because family members have pointed out that they seem to be having difficulties.

Halos and light sensitivity: Cataracts cause the light passing through your eye to scatter, so that it hits your retina in several different places. Blurred vision: When cataracts cloud your lens, light cannot focus on the retina properly, and your brain will register a distorted image. When you make regular visits to your ophthalmologist, he or she can monitor your eye health and look for cataracts in the early stages.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation, especially UVB rays, can cause changes in pigment that lead to the formation of cataracts. While the most common cause of cataracts is age, they can also be caused by eye trauma, certain medications, and various environmental and lifestyle factors. Currently, the surgical removal of the lenses and subsequent replacement with artificial intraocular lenses (IOLs) is the only cure for cataracts.

A cataract generally develops over a long period of time, causing your eyesight to get progressively worse. Our cataract surgery, available privately or through the NHS, involves removing your cataract and replacing it with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) to help restore your vision. A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in the eye and is one of the leading causes of vision impairment.

Cataract surgery is a very safe and effective procedure to remove the cloudy crystalline lens from the eye and replace it with a clear implant. In the beginning stages of cataracts, vision may be slightly improved using forms of visual correction. As we age, these changes occurring to the natural crystalline lens can lead to the development of cataracts, or a loss in clarity of the lens.

But if your symptoms are caused by another undiagnosed eye condition, such as glaucoma, surgery may not help to improve it. This is because medical treatment of the affected eye(s) is almost always needed to help prevent complications arising from the presence of the cataract. However, some dogs can have decreased vision years after cataract surgery due to formed scar tissue, glaucoma, and/or retinal detachment.

In fact, most dogs with cataracts do not need surgery, because most lens opacities in dogs (and a lens opacity is a cataract, no matter how tiny or big) are small and don’t significantly interfere with vision. LIU, in turn, can cause glaucoma, retinal detachment, and/or lens luxation (slippage of the lens from its attachments, allowing the lens to float around inside the eye and cause damage and pain). The lens inside in the eye focuses light so the eye gets a clear image whether viewing in the distance or up close.

These cataracts do not need to be removed because vision develops normally, even if the cataract is left in place. The ophthalmologist will make a tiny cut in your eye to remove the cataract, and will normally insert a plastic replacement lens so that you can see clearly. However, most cataracts get worse over time (often many years) so it’s likely you will eventually need treatment.

If your cataracts are mild, stronger glasses and brighter reading lights may be helpful for some time. In England and Wales, it is estimated that around 2.5 million people aged 65 or older have some degree of visual impairment caused by cataracts. After some months or years, some people notice that their vision becomes cloudy or misty again in the eye where the cataract has been removed.

The ophthalmologist will make a tiny cut in the eye to remove the cataract, and will normally insert a plastic replacement lens so that you can see clearly. Conventional “monofocal” lenses only correct distance vision, so people still need reading glasses after surgery. New developments in cataract surgery allow for procedures that correct both near and distance vision, reducing or even eliminating the need for glasses after the operation.

Although most people have a good level of clear vision following their cataract surgery, the thought of an operation on your eye may be worrying. Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent. The surgical removal of cataracts is a very common procedure and is highly effective roughly 90 percent of the time, according to the National Eye Institute.

Over half of people in the United States have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery by the time they’re 80 years old, according to the National Eye Institute.


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