It’s no secret that as people get older, they are more prone to sickness. Cataracts are common among old people, causing the loss of vision in either one or both eyes. Needless to say, seniors should be aware of the nature of cataracts, what it does and how to get better after being diagnosed with cataracts.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. Once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.
People over 40 are more prone to cataracts, as a matter of fact, it’s the leading reason that causes blindness in the world.
What causes cataracts?
The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is kept in an exact way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.
As we grow older, numbers of the protein may clump together and form a cloud in a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
Reasons for cataracts:
- Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and other sources;
- Family history;
- Using corticosteroid medications for a long time;
- Previous eye injury or inflammation;
- Previous eye surgery;
- Hormone replacement therapy;
- Large amount of alcohol intake;
- Oxidative changes in the human lens.
Symptoms and signs
- Cloudy or blurry vision;
- Colors may not appear as bright as they used to be;
- Lights, lamps, or sunlight appear to be too bright or glaring. A halo may appear around lights;
- Unable or having difficulties seeing at night;
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye. This symptom may disappear as the cataract get worsened;
- Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
These symptoms can also lead to other eye problems. Consult your doctor to check whether you have cataracts or not by taking eye exams. Don’t hesitate to pay the doctors a visit for further treatment and medications to prevent complications.
A healthy diet that includes lots of vitamins, nutrition, and nutritional supplements may reduce your risk of cataracts.
- Vitamin E: Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, shellfish, fish, plant oils, broccoli, squash, and fruits.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Eggs, leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, garden peas and Brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids: Seafood and fruits.
The use of new glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids is efficient in treating cataracts. Also, consider getting a surgery when the eye problems get in the way of your everyday life.
Getting older indicates that we need to take extra measures in order to be healthy. However, if you’re fully educated and aware of the things listed above, you’re less likely to lose vision anytime soon.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 10, 2017 | Last Modified: April 10, 2017
Facts About Cataract. https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts. Accessed April 10, 2017.
Cataracts. http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm. Accessed April 10, 2017.
Cataracts: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157510.php. Accessed April 10, 2017.