Cataracts are changes in clarity of the natural lens inside the eye that gradually degrade visual quality. Many people are unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision have been so gradual.Cataracts commonly affect both eyes, but it is not uncommon for cataracts in one eye to advance more rapidly. Cataracts are very common.
A cataract is generally painless. It usually starts out as a small, opaque spot and slowly grows larger. Vision is not usually affected until a large area of the lens becomes cloudy. When people develop cataracts, they begin to have difficulty doing activities they need to do for daily living or for enjoyment especially activities for which clear vision is essential.
These activities includes:
At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye's lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss.The lens lies behind the iris(colored part of the eye)in the area of the the pupil. The lens cannot be directly seen with the naked eye unless it becomes extremely cloudy. It works much like a camera lens. It focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, where an image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away.As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens.This may lead to signs and symptoms you're more likely to notice.
Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:
If you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or blurriness, make an appointment for an eye exam and see your doctor right away.
The Risk Factors for the development of cataracts include lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and the excessive use of alcohol and Long term use of corticosteroids and Prolonged exposure to UV-B radiation etc.
Self-care measures may help for a while, but as the cataract progresses, your vision may deteriorate further. When vision loss starts to interfere with your everyday activities, consider cataract surgery'.