With the kind of hectic and stressful lifestyle as well as unhealthy eating habits we follow, it’s no surprise that we struck down by a series of health problems.
These problems occur in any part of our body and organs, and it’s not always a pleasing experience to be confined in hospitals and taking dozens of medicines.
However, one worse health problem to have is when our eyes get affected. There are some eye problems that frequently occur in recent years, but one problem that’s particularly common is a cataract.
We are aware of how important our vision is in our daily lives — having them affected by a problem such as cataract can have adverse effects.
How is cataract defined?
The lens of our eyes usually shows the actual color of our eyes. However, when cataract occurs, the lens would appear cloudy or milky. The lenses of our eyes also help receive light or image which is processed by our brain and sent to the retina. For healthy eyes, the light or image passes through to the retina from the clear lens. For a person with cataracts, the lens is too cloudy for light to pass through, making the image blurry.
When a person has cataract, it would feel like they are looking through a foggy or frosty window. Cataract is usually a problem that is generally seen among older people.
Cataracts make it difficult for a person to do regular activities like driving a car or reading a book. Cataracts can happen in one eye or both eyes but do not spread to one another. Cataracts, if left untreated, can usually lead to blindness.
To understand more about this dreaded eye problem, below are seven facts to know about cataracts:
- Cataracts develop slowly
A problem like cataract does not happen overnight. However, it gradually develops and slowly starts disrupting your vision as time goes by. The problem occurs when protein starts clumping around the eyes and reducing the sharpness of the image that is usually sent to the retina.
- Cataracts do not necessarily happen to senior citizens exclusively
Although cataract is seen commonly in older people over 60 years old and above, there are individuals in their 40’s or 50’s who get affected by it. In fact, even people at a young age can develop cataract. If it is not treated immediately, it can slowly affect the vision.
- Cataracts are caused by certain risk factors
While cataract is a problem that is typically caused by age, there are other elements that can contribute to this vision ailment.
These risk factors include:
– Specific diseases like diabetes
– Lifestyle and habits like smoking and excess alcohol consumption
– Being exposed to ultraviolet sunlight at prolonged periods
- The severity of cataracts can also depend on an individual’s race or ethnicity
In America alone, different ethnic groups encounter different levels of cataracts. This eye problem is commonly reported among white Americans especially reaching 70 years old. About 50 percent of black Americans while 60 percent of Hispanics get affected by cataract by the time they reach 80 years old.
- Cataracts often exhibit common signs
To determine whether a person has a cataract, some common symptoms are often experienced.
These symptoms include:
– Vision that is blurry and cloudy making it difficult to execute regular tasks
– The color of an image appears faded
– A throbbing pain is felt when exposed to glaring bright lights
– One eye can experience double vision
– It is particularly difficult to see at night
– Requires frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lenses prescription
- Cataracts come in three main types
This eye problem can occur in different ways.
The three main types of cataracts include:
– Nuclear cataract: This is where the clumps of protein are formed in the center or nucleus of the lens and are usually linked to aging.
– Subcapsular Cataract: This is common among diabetes patients where it is formed at the back of the lens
- Cataracts can be detected in several ways
A trip to an eye doctor is always a good idea when you suspect that you have a problem like cataract. It is best when the problem is treated early before it becomes worse. This vision problem can be diagnosed in three ways. This includes:
– Tonometry: This is where an instrument is employed to determine the pressure inside the eye. Before this examination, numbing drops are usually applied to the eyes first
– Visual Acuity Test: This is where an eye chart is used to determine the sharpness of your vision in various distances
– Dilated Eye Exam: This exam involves applying drops to the eyes to help dilate or widen the pupils. Then, an eye care specialist uses zooming lenses to check your optic nerve and retina and assess the damage.
Tips to prevent the onset of cataracts
Similar to other health problems, following a healthy lifestyle and eating habit can significantly help with preventing cataracts from occurring. Cataract can become a serious problem, and it can disrupt your daily life, so it is a good idea to pursue a healthier routine. Below are easy strategies to help prevent cataracts from happening and reducing the risk:
- Consume more foods that are rich in essential nutrients especially lutein and zeaxanthin. These are usually found in both dark-green and yellow leafy vegetables. People who also ate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also lower their risk of developing cataracts.
2. Cut back on bad habits especially cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption as these vices can damage vital organs and also affect your eyes.
3. Protect your eyes from being subjected to UV rays from the sun by putting on sunglasses
You can purchase this ultra lightweight sunglasses with 100% UV protection here: https://amzn.to/2XoQHN8
4. Limit your consumption of sugar to prevent the onset of diabetes and insulin resistance
5. Visit an eye care specialist frequently to help look for symptoms of different eye problems including cataracts.
6. Avoid certain medications especially those with corticosteroid as this can also affect the eyes and eventually cause cataracts.
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