Cataracts is one of the major causes of vision loss in people aged 40 and over. This condition is characterized by the clouding of the eye’s lens, which is situated right behind the iris and pupil. That being said, as the person grows older, the development of cataracts may hinder the entry of light through the pupil, thus leading to blindness with time. Together, we will familiarize ourselves with some of the causes, symptoms and possible preventative measures of this health condition.


What are the types of cataract?

  1. Subcaspular cataract: takes place at the back of the lens. This type is mostly prevalent in people suffering from diabetes or consuming high doses of steroid medications.
  2. Nuclear cataract: takes place at the centre of the lens. This type is mainly apparent due to aging.
  3. Radiation cataract: This results after an excessive exposure to some type of radiation.
  4. Congenital cataract: Some babies are born with cataract, and sometimes in both eyes which may result in some cases, in affecting their vision.

What causes its formation and development?

  • History of cataract in the family
  • Smoking
  • Binging or alcohol abuse
  • Poor diet lacking in vitamins and minerals
  • Long exposures to sunlight
  • Taking excessive doses of corticosteroid medication
  • Previous eye injury or surgery
  • Certain health condition including diabetes

What are the symptoms?

  • Clouded/dim/blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing in the dark (at night)
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Visualizing “halos” around light sources
  • Recurrent changes in lenses and/or eyeglass prescription
  • Double vision in a single eye

What are some possible treatments?

Before discussing some treatment options, it is important to note that as soon as you start noticing some changes in your vision, report it to your doctor and book an appointment to see an optician. 

The treatment methods always depends on the type of the condition itself. For temporary solutions, it is useful to wear glasses or strong bifocals and sit in places with adequate lighting. But once the cataract has progressed enough for it to deteriorate your vision completely, you can discuss with your ophthalmologist  the option of surgery (which has been shown to be very successful).


How can you prevent its formation?

  • Enjoy the sun responsibly: wear sunglasses and a hat to block the UV light from the sun
  • Stop smoking
  • Consume a diet rich in green vegetables, fruits and antioxidant foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Have a regular eye examination! (Especially if you are older than 40)

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