Cataracts, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis,and Treatments

August 28, 2014

Cause of Cataracts

Cause of Cataracts often occur as a person ages or if they suffer from trauma to the eye tissues that make up the lenses. While some cataracts can be labeled as genetic, other health issues can lead to cataracts too. Also, medical conditions such as infection or diabetes could lead to the development of cataracts and long-term use of steroid drugs can too.

Cataracts often occur when protein builds up in the lens - making your vision cloudy. This can keep light from passing through the ocular lens and lead to vision loss. As new lens cells start to form on the outside of the lens, the older cells become compacted in the center - creating a cataract.

Common Types of Cataracts

There are four primary cause of cataracts, including:

  • Age Related - These occur because of aging
  • Congenital - Some babies are born with cataracts due to injury, poor development or infection
  • Secondary - These happen because of a medical condition, like diabetes. In some cases they can also happen when you are exposed to toxic substances, take certain drugs, radiation or have ultra violet ray damage
  • Trauma - After a direct injury to the eye.

if you smoke, drink a lot of alcohol or if you are frequently exposed to air pollution, you could develop cataracts too.

Signs For Cause Of Cataracts

Cataracts form slowly, so a lot of patients don't realize they even have them until the condition becomes severe. Some symptoms people may suffer from include, but are not limited to:

  • Cloudy, foggy or blurry vision
  • Progressive nearsightedness
  • Changes in how you see color
  • Double vision Issues
  • Seeing at night
  • Suddenly needing strong glasses or contact prescription

What Happens if You Get Cataracts

For some people, vision can be corrected with surgery. However other cause of cataracts could prevent you from receiving surgery. And, if corrective lenses don't work, you may suffer from low vision because of your cataracts.

Speak with your physician about your cataracts. If yours are due to a medical condition, getting that medical condition under control can allow you to receive cataract surgery.

For more information about vision loss, download the Access World app. This app was founded by the American Foundation for the Blind and is an online publication. You can browse and read articles for free, read the latest issues of AccessWorld and learn more about the causes of cataracts and issues regarding low vision.

Seeing Your Doctor & Detection

Your doctor can provide you an eye exam that includes:

  • Visual acuity test: Helps determine how well you see at different distances
  • Dilated eye exam: A specific type of magnifying glass lens checks your optic nerve and retina for any damage after your eyes are dilated with drops
  • Tonometry: This measures how much pressure exists inside your eye

Cataract Treatment

Often, your doctor may suggest first using different prescription eye glasses. Combined with better lighting, magnifying lenses, and anti-glare sunglasses, this can often be of great help to your vision.
Surgery may be used if your condition worsens to the point where your every day activities are truly affected.

If you and your doctor determine that surgery is your best option, there are two basic types:

  1. Phacoemulsification: After making a very small cut into the cornea, a small probe is inserted into your eye. This probe puts out ultrasound waves to help break up your lens so it can be removed through suction.
  2. Extracapsular surgery: In this case, the entire lens is removed after a larger incision is made into the cornea.

After surgery, your surgeon will often insert a new artificial lens. This is called an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL becomes a part of your eye, you don't feel anything different, and it helps to improve vision by focusing light properly on to your retina.

Learn more about cataracts through Low Vision Technologies. Finding the right information about your eyes can be overwhelming and at times very frustrating. However with the right information you can make the right decisions and create the solutions that make the difference in your life. Low vision technologies understands your challenges, and can help you to make the right choices. By going to you've made the decision for independent living.
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