A condition in which clouding of the lens of the eye occurs that results in decrease in vision is called cataract. As the age advances the weight and thickness of lens increases and decrease in accommodative power occurs.
Cataract can affect both the eyes. It develops gradually and is a common occurrence in advancing age.
Cataract appears white in color when lens becomes totally opaque and the condition is known as mature cataract. This results in blurred vision. Visual disturbance depends on the how much cloudiness has appeared on the lens.
Cataract are neither painful nor they cause itching or redness of the eye or abnormal formation of tears in the eyes. It is not a contagious disease and do not spread from one to other eye.
Anatomy of lens:
Clear portion of eye is known as lens. The light passes through the lens and strikes at the back of the eye on the light sensitive tissue called retina. For a clear image to be formed on the retina front of the eye including lens must be transparent and clear. If the lens becomes cloudy as in cataract, blurry image will strike the retina and hence blurred image will be seen.
Formation of cataract:
If the change in lens proteins occurs it affects the refraction of light through lens and reduces its clarity. Color of the lens change because of the chemical modification of lens protein.
There is production of new cortical fibers that lead to hardening and thickening of the lens.
Density of the lens epithelial cell decreases with age. Lens loses its transparency because of alteration in lens fiber formation and hemostasis.
Cataracts can be classified by anatomical location within the lens, degree of clouding of the lens, or by the cause of the cataract.
• Nuclear cataract: Lens becomes cloudy only in the nucleus.
• Cortical cataract: Lens cortex becomes cloudy.
• Sub capsular cataract: Capsule of the lens becomes cloudy.
In some cases cause of this problem remains unknown. Factors that might speed up cataract formation are:
• Family history.
• Eye inflammation.
• Eye trauma.
• Too much exposure to sunlight.
• Eye surgery for another eye problem.
• Atopic dermatitis.
• Long-term use of corticosteroids or certain other medications.
• Genetic illnesses including myotonic dystrophy, galactosemia, homocystinuria,
Wilson’s disease, Down’s syndrome and many others.
• Congenital infections with herpes simplex, rubella, toxoplasmosis or syphilis.
• Cloudy vision.
• Sensitivity to glare.
• Double vision.
• Halos around light.
• Decreased vision at night or in dim light.
• Some patients note that they require frequent changes in their eyeglass prescriptions.
• Pupil of the eye appears grey or white.
• Medical and ocular history of patient must be taken.
• Test of eye movements and pupillary responses.
• Measurement of eye pressure.
Only treatment is surgical removal of cataract.
• Magnifying lenses.
• Symptoms of cataract improve after surgery.
• Vision may not improve to 20/20.
• Loss of vision.
• Glaucoma and inflammation inside eye in advanced cases.
• Given in acute cases.
• Flashes of light and dark spots are seen.
• Lens opacity occur in the old people after trauma.
• Light is intolerant.
• Burning pain in eyes.
• A sensation of sand in the eye.
• Letters run together in visual feild.
• Incipient cataract.
• Cataract results due to excessive reading.
• Flickering and sparks before eyes.
• Spots on cornea
• Intense photophobia.
• Excessive lachrymation.
• Little blisters on cornea.
• Opacity of the cornea.
• Soft cataract.
• Sensation as if eyes are coverd with a veil.
• Floating black points before eyes.
• Green halo around candle light.
• Fatigue of eyes with little use of eyes.
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