Often noticable as a clouding of the natural eye lens, cataracts is a condition faced by many. In fact, it is the most common cause of loss of vision faced by people aged 40 and over, and it is the main cause of blindness in the world. There are more cases of cataracts than there are of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma combined! Cataract is a serious condition, so it’s important to know what causes it and what treatments are available. This will help you and those you love over come the struggles they may face.
What are Cataracts?
There are many health concerns which worsen with age. One of these is cataracts, a clouding of the eyes which makes it difficult to see things in focus or clearly. This can results in blurred vision, trouble seeing at night, the appearance of light halos or a change in colour perception. Although the condition is pretty common, it’s important to treat it before it gets more serious and has a negative effect on your quality of life.
Most cases of cataracts develop slowly and don’t affect vision at first. However, over time it can begin to affect you. Early symptoms are pretty easily treatable with stronger lighting and prescription glasses, but if it is affecting your ability to carry out daily activities, surgery may be needed.
Types of Cataracts
There are three (3) types of cataracts:
- Cortical cataracts: this is often characterized by wedge-like, white opacities which start on the edge of the lens and grow inwards. This type of cataract may occur in the lens cortex.
- Nuclear cataracts: this type of cataract may form deep in the nucleus, or the center of the lens. This is more common to those who are aging.
- Subcapsular cataracts: this may occur at the back of the lens. Those who have high doses of medications are at greater risk of developing this type of cataract.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of cataracts:
- Having a double vision in one eye
- Yellowing or fading of colors
- Having a frequent change in contact lens and eyeglasses prescription
- Seeing halos around lights
- Need a much brighter light when reading or doing some activities
- Being sensitive to glare and light
- Having an increase in difficulty seeing at night.
- Dim, blurry and cloudy vision.
Causes of Cataract
Most cataracts develop when there are changes in the lens tissues due to aging or injury. Genetics may also play a role. Cataracts may also be caused by eye surgeries, medical issues such as diabetes, excessive or long-term steroid use or other eye conditions
Risk Factors for Cataracts
Risk factors which may increase the possibility developing cataracts include:
- Family history or genetics
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- Having eye surgery
- The use of various medicines to reduce cholesterol
- Excessive use of steroid medications
Treatments for Cataracts
Here are some of the most effective treatments for cataracts:
Honey. The antioxidant properties of this nutrient-rich substance make it beneficial in treating cataracts and other illnesses.
Garlic. The powerful antioxidant properties of garlic boost immunity. Furthermore, it also helps ward off various conditions like cataracts.
Spinach. The phytonutrients in this green leafy vegetable are beneficial in reversing the damage that oxidative stress may cause. By neutralizing this oxidative stress and the free radicals, eye health will be improved.
Bananas. Lutein, an antioxidant found in bananas, is one of the most important antioxidants in getting rid of cataracts. This fruit also helps improve eye health and slow down the development of cataracts.
Bilberry. This is one of the most powerful fruits and best treatments for cataracts. This is because it has rich levels of antioxidants, which may help prevent free radical damages and protect the vision.