Mr Abiodun, a very prominent and respected chief in his community just clocked 60 years of age and would always boast about his very sharp eye sight. Upon clocking his new age he began to notice something in his vision like a “smoke covering everywhere” in his own words. At first he assumed it was probably the weather or dust until it remained that way for 2 weeks. He immediately rushed to an eye clinic to get his eyes examined. After a thorough examination, the doctor informs him that he has been diagnosed of Cataract.
WHAT IS CATARACT?
Cataract is a condition where the normally clear crystalline lens in the eye starts to become cloudy or frosty.
WHAT CAUSES CATARACT?
- Cataract could develop as normal aging process: how? The crystalline lens contains proteins that are finely arranged in a way that makes the lens appear transparent and as one ages, the arrangement of these proteins begin to disrupt. This process leads to cloudiness and an increasing opacity known as Cataract.
- Cataract can develop from an injury: this is called Traumatic Cataract, the lens capsule ruptures due to a punch during a fight, by a flying object, or any forceful impact on the eye.
- Cataract can be congenital: congenital cataract happens due to genetic mutation during child formation.
- Cataract can be secondary to ill-managed diseases like Diabetes and glaucoma (an eye disease)
- Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun
- Unhealthy or prolonged unsupervised use of medications that can disrupt the protein composition of the lens
- Radiation therapy.
SYMPTOMS OF CATARACT
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Vision is blurry most especially at far distance.
- Double vision
- Frequently changing your prescription more than usual.
- Colors beginning to fade (contrast sensitivity)
- Over- sensitivity to light (glare).
- Family history of cataract
- High consumption of alcohol
- Conditions like hypertension, diabetes and high myopia.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DIAGNOSED OF CATARACT?
Seek the advice of your optometrist or ophthalmologist so as to know what approach to take, if cataract is to be managed or treated immediately (surgery).
Surgery is the only treatment for cataract. Though vision can be lost due to cataract, the vision loss is not permanent and vision will be restored after a successful surgery.
In modern times, cataract surgery has become one of the most successful surgeries with no complications at all. It is almost Non-invasive.
Used of Ultrasound waves as a method are in use are relatively safe and with less complications. This process is called PHACO-EMULSIFICATION.
After this, a new artificial intraocular lens known as the Intra ocular lens (I.O.L) is placed inside the eye through a small opening at the cornea.
HOW DO I PREVENT CATARACT?
- Make sure to do a yearly eye examination to evaluate the health and transparency of the lens.
- Wear UV-blocking glasses
- Quit smoking
- Start managing systemic conditions like diabetes and hypertension if there is a history.
- Use your medications as prescribed by your physician.
- Take Antioxidants and multivitamins every day.
Cataract is not a thief of sight, but it is a very common eye condition amongst the older people (50 years and above), sometimes it takes years to progress to the stage of needing a surgery, that’s why there are preventive measures mentioned in this blog to help slow down its progress.
Surgery is the only way to treat cataracts and it has a very good prognosis, so there’s no need to worry. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in this blog, do make sure to visit any eye clinic closest to you to be very sure of what condition you may have as there are other eye conditions that shows these same symptoms.
You can contact SpecSMART eye clinic via our customer care line for more information or book an appointment with us via our website.