By Dr. Amol Mhatre, Ophthalmology
Cataracts occur when there is a protein build up on the natural lens of the eye, leading to clouding or loss of sight.
Causes of Cataract
Protein accumulates in the lens of your eye which leads to prevention of clear passage of the light. Hence, there is a loss of vision. Then, new lens cells are formed and accumulate on the outside of the lens. While this happens, the old cells compact themselves into the center of the lens, creating the cataract. Ageing, diabetes, exposure of the eye to toxic substances or radiation are some reasons for the development of cataract.
Symptoms of Cataract
Cataracts do not show symptoms during the early stages; they develop slowly and ultimately manifest themselves in the loss of vision. Still, there are some symptoms that mark the progression of cataracts and they are:
- Cloudy or foggy vision
- Progressive near sightedness of vision in older patients in the expense of their distance vision, which gets worse
- Noticeable changes in the way you see colour
- Oncoming lights produce glare and this creates problems with your vision at night
- You find yourself suffering from double vision
Treatment of Cataract: There are usually two ways of treating cataracts:
1. Contacts or Eyeglasses
In some cases, your vision can be restored by using contact lenses or eyeglasses, which your physician will prescribe if the cataract is not severe.
2. Cataract Surgery
If eyeglasses cannot restore your vision, then you will need cataract surgery. The surgeon will remove the natural lens in the eye which has the cataract and replace it with an artificial, clear lens. This is a highly efficient way of treating cataracts, with studies showing more than 90% of the people having their vision restored by cataract surgery.