Cataract

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Overview

A cataract is an eye condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This causes vision to worsen, making it especially difficult to see fine details clearly. Some people’s vision is only slightly affected, whereas others might lose their eyesight very quickly. How it progresses will depend on things like the exact type of cataract.

Cataracts mostly affect people over 50. The risk increases with age: About 20 out of 100 people between the ages of 65 and 74 have a cataract. And more than 50 out of 100 people over the age of 74 are affected.

Cataracts are the main cause of blindness in developing countries. The number of people who go blind from cataracts is considerably lower in industrialized countries due to the availability of effective surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy eye lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.

Symptoms

A cataract is an eye condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This causes vision to worsen, making it especially difficult to see fine details clearly. Some people’s vision is only slightly affected, whereas others might lose their eyesight very quickly. How it progresses will depend on things like the exact type of cataract.


Cataracts mostly affect people over 50. The risk increases with age: About 20 out of 100 people between the ages of 65 and 74 have a cataract. And more than 50 out of 100 people over the age of 74 are affected.


Cataracts are the main cause of blindness in developing countries. The number of people who go blind from cataracts is considerably lower in industrialized countries due to the availability of effective surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy eye lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.Clouded, blurred or dim vision.

Increasing difficulty with vision at night.

Sensitivity to light and glare.

Need for brighter light for reading and other activities.

Seeing "halos" around lights.

Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

Fading or yellowing of colors.

Causes

Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up the eye's lens. Proteins and fibers in the lens begin to break down, causing vision to become hazy or cloudy. Some inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems can increase your risk of cataracts.Types of Cataract

Age-related cataract. As you age, a cataract can develop because of natural changes in the lens of your eye. ...

Traumatic cataract. Serious eye injuries can damage your lens and cause a cataract. ...

Radiation cataract. Certain types of radiation can cause cataracts. ...

Pediatric cataract.

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of cataracts include:

Increasing age.

Diabetes.

Excessive exposure to sunlight.

Smoking.

Obesity.

High blood pressure.

Previous eye injury or inflammation.

Previous eye surgery.

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Complications

Complications

Posterior Capsule Rupture/Vitreous loss.

Cystoid Macular Edema.

Endophthalmitis.

Vitreous/Suprachoroidal Hemorrhage.

Retinal Tears/Detachment.

Lens Dislocation.

Prevention

To reduce your risk of developing cataracts:


protect your eyes from UVB rays by wearing sunglasses outside

have regular eye exams

stop smoking

eat fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants

maintain a healthy weight

keep diabetes and other medical conditions in check