Looking at Cataracts: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Cataracts are a condition of the eye that is fairly common. However, when left untreated, cataracts can cause a severe decrease in vision. Cataracts develop either in the lens or lens capsule of the eye. They look like a clouding of the eye, and can cause a decrease in vision which, when left untreated, can lead to blindness. Cataracts can affect one or both of the eyes. Generally, both eyes will be affected, but one eye will begin to show symptoms before the other.
The symptoms of cataracts are all vision related. The longer a cataract is left untreated, the more vision will be lost. At first, patients with cataracts will notice that shapes are becoming less distinct and are perhaps taking on a rounded or shadowy appearance. Light will be scattered by the cataract, making it difficult to see in bright areas due to a glare. Colors will also begin to become less distinct. Gradually, these symptoms will intensify and can eventually lead to blindness in one or both eyes.
The causes of cataracts vary from patient to patient. Cataracts can be caused by age, but can also be related to a number of different conditions. Harsh exposure to ultraviolet light or radiation can cause cataracts later in life. An injury to the eye, even if it was many years ago, can also cause cataracts later on. Iodine deficiency, diabetes and high blood pressure can also lead to cataracts. In addition, some people are simply more prone to congenital cataracts due to family history.
Like the causes of cataracts, cataract treatments vary from person to person, depending on what is causing the cataract and how quickly the condition is progressing. One treatment option is to use special drops, which can help to slow the progression of the cataracts. However, the most effective way to completely cure cataracts is through cataract surgery. During this surgery, a specialized doctor will open the eye and actually remove the entire cataract. In the past, it was thought that cataracts should be in an advanced stage before they were removed. Now, doctors believe that cataracts can be removed at any stage. However, many doctors recommend waiting until there is some sort of loss of vision, in order to avoid unnecessary risks.