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Learn About Eye Diseases: Cataracts

Illustration of an eye, contacts and glasses


Cataracts are incredibly prevalent among the older population. Actually, in the United States, more than 50 percent of those who are 80 or older have cataracts or have had surgery to fix cataracts. Cataracts happen in the eye's lens as it becomes cloudy, which gives everything a cloudy or even blurred appearance.

What causes cataracts? The eye's lens surface is mostly comprised of water and proteins. As we age, these proteins may begin to join together, which can increase the difficulty of seeing through the lens. Although cataracts can arise in each eye, it will not spread from one particular eye to the other.
A lens that is healthy makes it possible for light to move through the retina on to the back of the eye. The retina then transmits these images for the brain which is what lets us view them. If the lens is cloudy, the image transmitted isn't sharp and results in cloudy vision.

Who gets cataracts? Along most cataracts develop after accumulating as a result of age, some individuals could build a cataract immediately after damage to the eye or issues with diabetes or other eye illnesses. While cataracts are more likely to severely impact vision in the elderly, cataracts may arise at any time. Individuals who drink alcohol, smoke or have high exposure to direct sunlight may also be more prone to cataracts.

How can I prevent cataracts? To protect against developing cataracts, maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to consistently wear sun protection, including a top quality pair of sunglasses and headgear when outdoors. Although cataracts can very easily be corrected with surgery, it is best to avoid developing them in the first place.
Detailed eye exams can alert your eye medical professional to adjustments you could not have observed. This allows the patient to start a treatment method course of action earlier and generally leads to saved vision.

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