Cataracts and Your Eyes
Introduction to Cataracts
In this Lens you will find out all you need to know about cataracts in your eyes.
First thing to bare in mind is that there are more than just one type of cataract, in fact there are four different types,
(Age Related - Congenital - Secondary - Traumatic),
all of which you are going to be very aware and have an expert knowledge of by the end of this article.
Age Related Cataracts
One of the Most Common Types
As the name suggests this type of cataract is due to the ageing process and is quite common in elderly people.
This type of cataract happens because the crystalline lens in your eye starts to cloud up. This cloud is a build up of proteins clumping together on the lens in your eye, slowly over time resulting in less amount of light to be able to pass through to reach the retina.
Things you would start to notice are:
1. Blurry / Foggy Vision
2. Sudden Near Sightedness
3. Changes in the Way you see Colour (Yellow Especially)
4. Bright Lights become very Distracting (car Headlights)
5. Increased amount of Glare
For Age Related Cataracts the simple solution is to have it removed and replaced with an implant lens, but ophthalmologists will be reluctant to remove the cataract until it has developed. The reason for this being that although it is a very routine operation, carrying minimal risks, it is still an operation so why take the risk until its really worth it.
A Cataract Present from Birth
A congenital cataract is a cataract that has been present from birth.
These can happen because of a hereditary factor (passed down through parents, grandparents in their genes). They can also occur from things such as during a pregnancy the mother has Rubella which can effect the baby in the form of congenital cataract.
Another occurrence for this eye condition is what we know as idiopathic, there was no known cause of where it came from, this is the most common reason at this time.
Congenital cataracts need to be removed early for one main reason, the eye is not receiving as much light as it could be. This results in the eye affected not being stimulated enough and stunting its growth. Once this stage has happened, and the cataract is removed to late there is not a lot that can be done on improving vision in that eye, as you cant fix what hasn't grown. This is something that is checked for within the first few hours of a baby being born.
Also Known as - Posterior Capsule Opacity
Although once a cataract is removed it can't return tiny cells from the original one can still grow to form a film on the inside wall of the clear tissue bag which houses the new lens implant. this creates a wax like cloudy film that impairs your vision in a very similar way to a cataract which is why it has been given the more simple name of secondary cataract (Posterior Capsule Opacity).
Treating this type of eye condition you will require, what is known as, YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy treatment which is not as complicated as it sounds. It is just as routine as the original cataract surgery and maybe even a bit easier.
What happens is the surgeon will use short pulses of laser energy to make a hole in the capsule, clearing up your vision by allowing the light to pass through again.
This treatment does require precision to work but can be done very safely in a matter of minuets in a doctors office.
Caused by Injuries
These cataracts are caused by direct trauma which will bring on a cataract, but it could happen anywhere up to 7 years after the accident.
There are a few procedures for these type of cataract but which one is best?
This will all depend on what sort of injury you have encored.
Now they will either suggest to replace the cataract with an implant lens or if the cataract is not to bad, and not affecting your vision, they may choose to leave it to repair itself.
Always consult your optician in any case to do with the eye as they can examine and determine the best move.
Useful Links - Relating to Eyes - Information on Cataracts - Optical Practices - Contact Lens Advice
I hope you found this article interesting and now have a slightly better understanding of cataracts.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.