What are Cataracts?
Definition of Cataracts: A clouding of the lens in the eye. Most cataracts are related to getting older, but a handful of health conditions can also cause cataracts. By age 80, more than half of Americans have been affected by cataracts. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Cataracts? A cataract forms when proteins in the lens move out of their arranged position and clump together. Age-related changes to the lens can cause cataracts. Diabetes, smoking, and prolonged exposure to sunlight increase a person's risk of developing cataracts.
Are Cataracts Contagious? No.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Cloudy vision.
- Blurry vision.
- A sensitivity to glare from lights or daylight.
- Poor night vision.
- Double vision in a single eye.
Treatment & Remedies: Keep your glasses prescription current, keep your home well lit and wear sunglasses in sunlight. Surgery is the only medical treatment for cataract symptoms if home remedies fail. A surgeon can remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a plastic artificial lens.
- Up to 90 percent of people who undergo cataract surgery have better vision afterward.
- Cataract surgery increases a person's risk for retinal detachment.
- A person cannot feel the artificial lens after surgery.
Sources and More Information:
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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