Cataracts


Eyes | Ophthalmology | Cataracts (Disease)


Description

A cataract is an eye condition that causes loss of vision due to a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye or in lens capsule. The condition usually affects both eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other. If cataracts are present from birth, total loss of vision or Congenital blindness may result. However, cataracts usually affect most people over the age of 75.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include: cloudy, blurred or dim vision, increasing difficulty with vision at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing halos around lights, frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription, fading or yellowing of colors, double vision in a single eye. A severe cataract may make the pupil of the eye appear cloudy.

Causes and Risk factors

All cataracts occur as a result of structural changes to protein fibres within the lens. Several factors can promote the formation of cataracts, including long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, contacts some drugs. Genetic factors are often a cause of congenital cataracts and they may also develop due to Diabetes mellitus, Uveitis or hypertension. Factors that can increase the risk of developing cataracts are: smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity and excessive exposure to sunlight.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Examination includes retinal and slit-lamp examination. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery....