Fight For Sight
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Waterford
Ireland
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Cataracts

Description of Cataracts

A cataract is a common eye condition which occurs when the lens of the eye or its enclosing membrane becomes clouded. The lens of the eye consists, for the most part, of water and protein.The protein is arranged to let light pass through and focus on the retina. As this protein becomes denatured due to ageing or through diseases such as Diabetes, it turns white and obstructs the passage of light.This can start to cloud small areas of the lens, blocking some light from reaching the retina and interfering with vision. Cataracts is a condition which affects millions of people. Although researchers are learning more about cataracts, no one knows for sure what causes them, with many scientists believing smoking, diabetes, and excessive exposure to sunlight to be contributory factors.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Cloudy or blurred vision. Problems with light. These can include headlights that seem too bright in oncoming traffic, glare from lamps, very bright sunlight or the impression of a halo around lights. Colours that seem faded. Poor night vision. Double or multiple vision. (This symptom often disappears as the cataract grows) Frequent changes in the strength of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Treatment of Cataracts

For an early cataract, vision may improve by using different eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, or stronger lighting. If these measures don't help, surgery is the only effective treatment. In the most common surgical treatment of cataracts, a small incision is made in the eye.The front portion of the thin outer lens covering is opened to allow the removal of the cataract. The cataract is gently broken up and vacuumed out. A lens implant is then inserted through the small incision and into the capsule where it permanently takes the place of the clouded natural lens. With the cataract removed the new lens implant clearly focuses light rays onto the retina.The strength of the lens implant is selected to suit your eye.

What the world looks like for a sufferer of Cataracts

Cataracts