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More about Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. Cataracts are very common in older people. It can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally successful. But who wouldn't rather avoid getting them in the first place? Protect your eyes from overexposures to the sun, don't smoke, limit your alcohol, and make sure your diet has plenty of the foods that keep your "windows to the world" healthy.

The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

Are there other types of cataract?
Yes. Although most cataracts are related to aging, there are other types of cataract:

  • Secondary cataract. Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma. Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems, such as diabetes.
  • Traumatic cataract. Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
  • Congenital cataract. Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes. These cataracts may be so small that they do not affect vision. If they do, the lenses may need to be removed.
  • Radiation cataract. Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.

What causes cataracts?
The lens lies behind the iris and the pupil (see diagram). It works much like a camera lens. It focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, where an image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away. The lens is made of mostly water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.


The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

1.Cloudy or blurry

2.Colors seem alike

3.Glare

4.Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright

5.Poor night vision

6.Double vision or multiple images in one eye

 
 
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