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Cataract : Symptoms, Types & Risks

By Dhwani Jerajani +2 more

Ever wonder what is a cataract? A cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world. When a clouded, denseness appears in the lens of the eye, it is known as a cataract. The dense clouds are due to the clumping of proteins. The cloudiness prevents the lens from sending signals to the brain. The onset of the disease is gradual and can eventually lead to a complete loss of vision.One or both eyes may get affected. If the cataract is present in both eyes, chances are it would have developed at different times.SYMPTOMSThe symptoms of cataracts are pronounced.

  1. Blurred vision is one of the first signs of a cataract.
  2. Night vision takes a beating.
  3. The colors look faded.
  4. Lights appear to have a halo.
  5. The affected eye suffers from double vision.
  6. Patients need to change their spectacles frequently.
RISK FACTORSThere are many reasons why a cataract can happen. Ageing, radiation, congenital issues, and many other factors contribute to susceptibility towards cataracts.
  1. Age
This is one of the most common causes of cataracts. The eye lens suffers degeneration over a period. The lens deterioration can happen much before than usual because of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension. The body is unable to restore the loss of lens quality. Medication intervention is the only solution.
  1. Smoking
Smoking and drinking contribute majorly towards increasing the odds of having a cataract. Smoking causes oxidation in the eye lens leading to changing the physiology of the lens. It also leads to metals collecting in the lens adding to the degeneration of the lens.
  1. Radiation
Apart from a host of other harmful effects, the radiations alter the DNA of the lens. UV rays, X-rays, and even microwaves can change the lens forever. Injuries caused due to heat and electricity change the protein structure of the lens much like how turns white on boiling.
  1. Genes
Chromosomal abnormalities contribute to cataracts in children. Genes play a pivotal role in developing a cataract. If your parents or grandparents suffered from it, there are high chances of you forming the same.
  1. Medications
Many types of medications, especially those given for schizophrenia, cause cataracts. Even low consumption of Vitamin C increases the incidence of having a cataract.
  1. Trauma
Injuries to the eyes can cause changes in the thickness of the lens either due to swelling, inflammation or otherwise. Depending on the kind and severity of the trauma, fluid may enter the lens and cause inflammation and clouding of the lens.TYPESDepending on the location and the manner of development of cataracts, there are many kinds.
  • Nuclear Cataracts
These form in the center of the lens and can cause discoloration of the lens. The nucleus of the lens may even harden due to brown pigment deposits
  • Cortical Cataracts
These form around the edges of the nucleus due to alterations in the fluid around the lens.
  • Posterior Capsular Cataracts
These occur at the back of the lens and are much quicker in their formation.
  • Congenital Cataracts
These are present since birth.
  • Secondary cataracts
These are caused due to medications or due to some other diseases.Also Read: Is a Stye Contagious? Unraveling the Truth Behind Eye InfectionsDisclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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