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Cataracts
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Cataracts

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Cataract is the word used to describe an area of increasing cloudiness in the lens of the eye — the lens of the eye is located behind the iris -the coloured part of the eye. A cataract may begin as a white spot at the edge of the lens or as a haze at the centre of the lens and gradually worsens until the vision is badly blurred.

Clouded vision can make it more difficult to read, drive a car or see the expression on a friend's face. Cataracts commonly affect distance vision and cause problems with glare. They generally don't cause pain, double vision with both eyes open or abnormal tearing.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But as the clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with your vision.

In the early stages, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with the vision problems. But at some point, if impaired vision jeopardizes your normal lifestyle, you might need surgery. Fortunately, cataract removal is one of the safest, most effective and most common surgical procedures.

Treatment

The only effective treatment for a cataract is surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear lens implant. Cataracts can't be cured with medications, dietary supplements, exercise or optical devices. In the early stages of a cataract when symptoms are mild, a good understanding of the condition and a willingness to adjust your lifestyle can help. You can try a few simple approaches to deal with symptoms:

  • If you have eyeglasses or contact lenses, make sure they're the most accurate prescription possible.

  • Use a magnifying glass to read.

  • Improve the lighting in your home with more or brighter lamps, for example, ones that can accommodate halogen lights or 100- to 150-watt incandescent bulbs. When you go outside during the day, wear sunglasses to reduce glare.

  • Limit your night driving.

These measures may help for a while, but as the cataract progresses, your vision may deteriorate further. When vision loss starts to interfere with your everyday activities, you'll want to consider cataract surgery.

More than 1.5 million cataract operations are performed each year. This surgery is very successful in restoring vision — more than 95 percent of people who have a cataract removed have no complications and end up with better vision. Many people report not only better vision but also a reduction in the power of their lens prescription and improvements in their overall quality of life after the operation.

When is the right time to have a cataract removed?

The decision to have cataract surgery is one that you and your eye doctor make together. You'll probably have plenty of time to consider and discuss your options carefully. In most cases waiting until you're ready to have surgery won't harm your eye. You may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever. In younger people or people with diabetes, however, cataracts may develop earlier and more quickly.

If you have cataracts in both eyes and decide to have surgery, your eye doctor typically removes the cataract in one eye at a time. This allows time for the first eye to heal before the second eye surgery.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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