All About Cataracts
Updated: Apr 11
What’s a Cataract?
Most people have heard the term cataract floating around at one point or another, but what exactly is a cataract? The National Eye Institute defines cataracts as, “a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision.” The lens is the part of the eye that focuses on light and images. For the most part, cataracts are related to aging and are commonly seen in the elderly.
What Causes Cataracts?
Imagine the lens of your eye as a camera lens adjusting focus and recording images by focusing light onto the retina. Consisting of protein and water, the protein of the lens is arranged in such a way that the lens stays clear and light is able to pass through. However, as people, age protein can begin to clump resulting in a clouded area in the lens, also known as a cataract.
Cataracts and Vision
Cataracts often affect vision in two ways; reduced sharpness and tinted vision.
When cataracts forms and protein clumps in the lens it results in clouded, blurry vision. Since cataracts form slowly the affected person’s vision will worsen gradually over time. In addition, the clear lens of the eye often adapts a yellow/brownish tint. This can change the way individuals perceive colors and make it increasingly difficult to read and execute day-to-day activities.
Different Types of Cataracts
According to the National Eye Institute, there are four different kinds of cataracts:
Secondary Cataract: Formed after surgery of the eye for other eye issues such as glaucoma. It can also be linked to diabetes and steroid use.
Traumatic Cataract: Develops after eye surgery.
Congenital Cataract: Babies can be born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. Congenital cataracts don’t always affect vision and can be quite small.
Radiation Cataract: Cataracts that develop after exposure to radiation.
There is a wide variety of treatments for cataracts such as glasses, sunglasses and magnifying glasses. However, cataract surgery is the most effective option.
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The operation is one of the safest and most common surgeries performed in the U.S. each year.
Call Baldwin Eye Care, LLC to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. It’s important to seek a professional diagnosis to determine the correct cause of your symptoms.