Initially, medical practitioners beliefs that one can have a cataract at the age of sixty and above. They came to this conclusion because cataracts were seen as a sign of old age. As a matter of fact, there has been some time that people think when a man or a woman complains about their eyes, they are assumed to have cataracts. Of course, the sign is there to date, but we want to tell you that some factors have contributed to the usage of our eyes nowadays. Therefore, cataracts are not only seen in aged ones alone. People can have cataracts right from their adolescent stage.
What are we saying in essence? We want you to know that everyone is prone to get a cataract. However, knowing that cataract is a common condition in both older adults and youth, what are cataracts? A cataract is a solid, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. It usually begins when proteins in the eye form clumps that prevent the lens from transferring clear images to the retina. The work of the retina is to convert the light that comes through the lens into signals. The retina sends signals to the optic nerve, which carries them to the brain. Cataracts develop gradually, and they will later affect one’s vision. And if the cataract has not been treated early, one might end up with it in both eyes. Then, the only remedy is to undergo cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery eliminates or removes the natural lens of an eye that is affected and replaces it with an artificial lens. When the lens becomes cloudy and the vision is affected, cataract surgery brings an alternative. Meanwhile, cataract surgery is the only safe procedure to eradicate cataracts. Once you notice that your vision has been involved as a result of a cataract, then you need to visit an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery.
Causes and Types of cataracts
- Nuclear cataracts: This kind of cataract always requires cataract surgery. It is also called a sclerotic nuclear cataract. It is a situation whereby there’s a form in the center of the lens, which is known as the nucleus. Older adults who live long enough usually end up with this type of cataract. Nuclear cataracts also begin slowly, and as they get worse, your reading vision may improve. It is often called second sight. However, it doesn’t last long. Furthermore, the lens hardens and turns yellow. With a nuclear cataract, one may have difficulty seeing tiny things and colors get less rich.
- Cortical cataract: when you notice a shape on the outside edge of your lens, then you are battling with cortical cataracts. The form on the outer edge of your lens is called the cortex. They often begin as white wedges. It’s like triangles pointing towards the center of your eyes. Cortical scatter light as they grow. The only symptom of this kind of cataract is glare. One may find it challenging to do some nighttime activities like driving. Another sign of cortical cataracts is that they can make your vision hazy. Vision hazy will be like you are looking through a fog. Then, one will not be able to differentiate between colors that look similar. Not only that, one will not be able to judge the distance of an object. If you are battling this kind of eye problem, you need to visit your eye doctor for cataract surgery or other remedies.
- Posterior subcapsular cataract: This kind of cataract is common among older adults. It is a situation whereby there’s a form inside the back of your lens capsule, the part of your eye that surrounds the lens and holds it in place. They are seen directly in the path of light as they pass through the lens. This kind of cataract is easy to eliminate than any other type of cataract. Also, its symptoms that appear within three months. If you have this cataract, your close-up vision will be affected, and you’ll not be able to see in bright light.
- Anterior subcapsular cataracts: This type of cataract forms inside the front of your lens capsule. It is caused mainly by an injury to your eye.
- Congenital cataracts: These types of cataracts are hereditary. They are cataracts that one is born with. Also, this cataract o forms when one is still a child. What are the causes of this cataract? Congenital cataracts are sometimes linked to one’s genes and some other illness that your mother had during pregnancy. When these cataracts are small or outside the middle of the lens, they may not need any treatment. But once the child is born with this cataract blocking their vision, there’s a need for cataract surgery. The baby will need cataract surgery because if care is not taken, this cataract can stop the baby’s eye from learning to see. Visit http://embryologistmedia.com/what-you-need-to-expect-from-cataract-surgery/ to read about What you need to expect from cataract surgery.
- Traumatic cataracts: This type of cataract is formed as a result of an injury. For instance, if you’re hit in the eye by a stone or get hurt from a chemical or splinter very close to your eyes, you are prone to have this cataract. The only way out is to visit your eye doctor immediately after the sudden incidence for a proper checkup. We are saying this because a traumatic cataract might not show up until after some years. So, when you visit your eye doctor, and he carries out series of eye tests on you, then he will be the one to decide if you are going to correct your eye with cataract surgery or not.
- Radiation cataracts: This type of cataract is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. That is why it is expedient for you always to put on a face shield to protect your eyes under the sun. One can get this cataract if one spends too much time in the sun without putting on a face shield.
We’ve done justice to what you need to know about cataracts. In this write-up, we briefly explained the meaning of cataracts and the types of cataracts, and their causes.