Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness across the globe. They are also a condition that affects about 54 million people worldwide.
Most of these 54 million people live in developing countries. But what is a cataract? Keep reading to learn!
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye. When this occurs, cataracts lead to vision loss and blindness if left untreated.
Our eyes are primarily made up of water and proteins. These proteins are precisely positioned for clear vision. As we age, the proteins begin to collect in the once clear lens of the eye.
When a cataract first begins to develop, the symptoms are rarely noticed. In fact, it can take years for a cataract to start causing vision loss.
Removing a cataract becomes necessary when it makes completing ordinary activities almost impossible. This can include things like reading or driving at night.
If a cataract is not diagnosed, it will lead to blindness. But this is preventable if you have cataract surgery and receive an IOL!
What are the biggest risks with cataracts?
When it comes to cataracts, they are often referred to as an age-related condition. Although there are older people with cataracts, it can affect other people. Most cataracts start developing at the age of 40 or 50 but don’t present symptoms until years later.
There’s no cure for cataracts, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them. The biggest thing is to live a healthy lifestyle!
This includes not smoking, eating well, and exercising regularly. This is the easiest way to delay any development of cataracts. If you live long enough, you will get a cataract.
Cataracts are not contagious
A cataract can develop in one or both eyes. Some people never develop a cataract in the opposite eye, while others do.
When this happens, though, it is not a sign that your second eye “caught” the cataract from the first. Cataracts only develop because of proteins in the lens clumping together. When these proteins clump up, your lens becomes cloudy, instead of clear.
What are common cataract symptoms?
There are many cataract symptoms experienced by patients. It’s best to be aware of possible symptoms. If you notice any changes in your vision, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor.
Even if you don’t have a cataract, you could have another eye condition.
Cataract symptoms may include:
- Blurred or clouded vision
- Double vision in the same eye
- Seeing faded colors
- Seeing glares from bright sources of light
- Seeing halos
- Seeing rainbows next to sources of light
- A whitening or visible clouding of the lens of the eye, which is the black part located in the center of the iris
Should you notice any of these symptoms, see your eye doctor!
Not sure if you have cataracts or need cataract surgery? Schedule a consultation at Cutarelli Vision in Denver, Colorado today! You won’t regret getting your vision questions answered, and your clear sight back!