What is a cataract, and what to do to prevent them.

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You have probably heard of a cataract and you know people that have had them, but do you know what it is exactly? 

What is a cataract?

 

A cataract is a cloudy area on the normal clear parts of the lens of your eyes. This can make it very difficult to see. It feels like looking through a frosted window or a fogged up window. THis can be very disorienting and it can make it harder to read, drive, see at night, or view a person’s facial expressions. 

 

Cataracts develop over time, and you probably will not notice anything is wrong for some time. Your vision might seem perfectly clear early on but eventually your vision will get foggy. 

 

Some common symptoms are

-foggy vision

-an increased difficulty when trying to see at night

-double vision in a single eye

-fading or yellowing of colors

-a need for a brighter light when reading or performing other activities. 

-frequent change in your glasses/contact prescription

-seeing a halo around lights

 

What causes one?

A cataract can be caused by various things. Aging or injury can change your eye lens tissue which can then cause cataracts to form and develop. Some inherited genetic diseases can make you more susceptible to developing one. Cataracts can also be caused by existing eye conditions, previous eye-related surgeries, or other medical conditions like diabetes. 

 

Risk factors

-obesity

-diabetes

-excessive exposure to sunlight

-high blood pressure

-aging

-family history of cataracts

-a past eye injury or inflammation

-steroid medication use

-previous eye surgery, like getting an Orem Lasik surgery

-drinking an excessive amount of alcohol

 

Prevention

There are a lot of things you can do to prevent the development of a cataract. 

-quit smoking

-drink less or no alcohol

-wear sunglasses when outside for an extended period of time

-manage other health problems

-eat a healthy diet

– make sure to have regular eye appointments, to keep your eyes healthy. This can also help find and detect cataracts before they develop into a giant problem.

 

Treatment

If you find that you have a cataract there is not a whole lot you can do. Your prescription glasses should help you see clearly, but eventually you will get to the point where they will not be a solution anymore. After this happens the only thing left to do is get surgery. 

 

Have a discussion with your doctor to see if surgery is right for you. Most doctors will not suggest surgery until your cataract is interfering with your quality of life. For instance, if it is becoming very hard to read or drive they will probably suggest you get cataract surgery. But this can be done at any time because cataracts do not harm your eye; they only interfere with your vision. Delaying your surgery will most likely not do anything to your vision recovery. Take time to weigh the pro’s and con’s of the time of your surgery. Once you have recovered you can get back to living your life to its fullest!

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