A cataract is a clouding that forms in the lens (which is usually clear) of the
eye. A cataract begins when the clumps are formed that prevent the lens from
transmitting clear images to the retina. Most cataracts develop slowly, but with
time, cataracts will eventually interfere with vision, making it more difficult to
read, cross a road, or drive a car (especially at night). Cataracts are known to
cause half the case of blindness worldwide.
Common symptoms of cataracts include- clouded, blurred or dim vision, difficulty seeing at night, fading or yellowing of colors, increased sensitivity to light and glare, halos around lights, double vision in the single eye, a need for frequent changes in prescription glasses.
A cataract is most commonly due to aging but may also occur due to trauma, radiation, or is present from birth, or occurs following eye surgery for other problems, long-term use of steroids and other medications, or as a result of diabetes, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and alcohol.
There can be many different types of cataracts like nuclear cataracts that form in the middle, cortical cataracts that form around the edges of the nucleus, posterior capsular cataracts that affects the back of the lens, congenital cataracts that are present from birth, secondary cataracts are caused due to other causes or risk factors.
Cataract is diagnosed by a comprehensive examination of the eye and patient history. The eye examination includes an eye chart test to check your vision at different distances and tonometry to measure your eye pressure, checking sensitivity to glare and perception of colors. Certain recommendations that may help the cataract patient is to have a regular eye examination, quit smoking and alcohol, choose a healthy diet of dark green leafy vegetables and fruits, manage diabetes effectively, and wear sunglasses