Sight, or being able to see, is the most fantastic of human senses. Therefore, keeping your eyes healthy is of paramount importance. A cataract problem may be evidenced irrespective of the age. Dr Burgu Usta Ulu, an ophthalmologist at Anadolu Medical Centre explains the nature of the disease.
The lens of our eye is a transparent structure situated behind the pupil. The cataract is a condition where this transparent structure becomes cloudy and lets less light, which impairs the vision.
How does a patient with cataract see?
A patient with cataract experiences reduced vision. The patient may be short-sighted or far-sighted; the eye lens number often change. As cataract progresses, vision impairs at all distances and becomes unqualified. Colors may become pale or yellowish. Night vision may become problematic. Therefore, patient’s social life becomes more difficult.
Why does cataract occur?
Cataract may be caused by many and various reasons. The most-common cause is the breaking down of fibers in the lens with ageing. Nevertheless this condition is most frequent among elderly people, it may be found in any age group. Babies, for instance, may have this condition (congenital cataract).
It may also be observed in young patients due to a metabolic disease. Cataract may occur in patients with diabetes, in patients who have been administering cortisone for a long time, or following diseases such as uveitis, glaucoma, or eye injuries. Furthermore, many other factors, such as environmental factors, UV rays, radiation, air pollution and nutrition may also be discussed.
What is the prevalence of cataract by age groups?
Cataract occurs in 4-10% in patients aged between 55 and 65 years, 15-25% in patients aged between 65 and 74 years, and 40-45% in patients aged above 75 years. Congenital cataract is observed in one in every 2000 babies.
Can we prevent cataract?
There is no therapy, exercises or glasses to prevent cataract. The crucial issue however, is to refer patients to an ophthalmologist and to make them have a detailed eye examination with a specialized microscope in the event of possible reduction of sight.