Everything You Need to Know About Cataracts


Cataracts are a common ocular disease. If not treated, they can interfere with daily life.

Learn how to identify cataract symptoms and determine whether surgery is necessary.

Here are some early indicators of cataracts that indicate you may contact an eye surgery center for your cataract.

  • Symptoms may include foggy vision, color shifts, glare when driving, difficulties reading, and frequent prescription adjustments for glasses;

  • Double vision or ghosting of images (mainly if only seen in one eye);

  • Symptoms include a need for more excellent lighting for reading, difficulty with night vision, and increased sensitivity to light.

As cataracts worsen, your eyesight becomes cloudier, and the symptoms above may worsen.

What Causes Cataracts?

  • Natural aging changes (most cataracts appear older);

  • Previous eye surgery;

  • Babies can be born with congenital cataracts.

What Are the Types of Cataracts?

There are three types of cataracts: nuclear, cortical, and subcapsular.

Nuclear sclerotic cataracts typically occur with aging. They form deep in the center of the lens and gradually grow.

Diabetes, for example, can raise one's chance of developing cortical cataracts. This type of cataract starts at the periphery of the lens and progressively moves into the center in a spoke-like pattern. Cortical cataracts can develop relatively quickly over months.

Posterior subcapsular cataracts can be induced by steroid usage, diabetes, radiation, or severe close vision. 

This type of cataract develops on the back of the lens. It can cause blurred vision and make it difficult to see in bright light, making driving, especially at night, quite challenging.

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

An ophthalmologist or optometrist quickly identifies cataracts after a consultation and eye examination.

What Does Cataract Surgery Entail?

Cataract surgery involves removing the cataract and inserting an artificial lens called an Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) into the eye—more than 90% of people who have surgery experience significant eyesight improvement.

When Should Cataracts Be Removed?

The procedure can be carried out at any stage of cataract development. There is no reason to wait until your cataract is "ripe" before removing it. Most people decide to have their cataracts removed when the deterioration in their vision causes problems in daily life. Early-stage cataract therapy allows you to enhance your eyesight quickly and keep it from deteriorating.

Are You Awake Throughout Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery typically lasts about 15 minutes, and most people leave the hospital around two hours later. It is performed under local anesthesia so that you will be awake during the procedure. Drops are usually utilized to numb the eyes.

After the surgery, you must put drops in your eyes for a few weeks.

How Can I Prevent My Cataracts From Worsening?

Lasers are not used to eliminate cataracts, and there is no proof changing your diet, taking vitamins, or using eye medications would cure them.

  • To prevent worsening cataracts, schedule regular eye exams;

  • To prevent UV damage, wear sunglasses and limit alcohol and smoking;

  • Treat other health disorders that raise the risk of cataracts, including diabetes.

Can Cataracts Be Prevented?

Currently, there is no proven means of preventing cataracts. However, it is critical to have frequent eye examinations (every two years for adults and every year beyond the age of 50), as diseases that can impact eye health become more common with age.

Consult your local optician or doctor if you have any risk factors or signs that cataracts may impact your eyesight. Risk factors for cataracts include:

  • Age, diabetes, obesity, and a history of eye surgery or injury;

  • Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and excessive sun exposure.

What If I Suspect I Have a Cataract?

If you suspect you are getting cataracts, schedule a professional eye exam with your eye doctor, optician, or ophthalmologist (after being referred by your general practitioner). If your vision difficulties can be addressed to an acceptable degree using glasses or contact lenses, surgery may not be necessary at this time. Cataract surgery may be beneficial if the preceding procedures are ineffective in correcting your eyesight loss and interfere with your regular activities, such as driving or watching television.

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