Clouding of eye’s natural transparent lens is called Cataract. It is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people over 60 years of age. It starts out slow and causes minimal blurring. But as the disease progress, it leads to significant decrease of vision. It can develop in either or both eyes and is generally of following two types:

  • Age related cataract – appear later in life and can be:
    • Nuclear cataract that affect the center of the lens
    • Cortical cataract that develop in the lens cortex
    • Posterior sub capsular cataract that affect the back of the lens
  • Congenital cataract is present either when the baby is born, or develops shortly after birth.

How will Cataract develop in my Eye?

Lens in the eye works just like a camera lens to focus light on retina for a clear and comfortable close as well as far away vision. Lens is basically made of protein and water arranged in a precise way to facilitate clear vision. But when this arrangement gets disturbed and proteins clump together to form a cloud, cataract is developed. Although it is not exactly known why the Lens fibre arrangement changes, following factors are known to contribute in the development of cataract:

  • Advancing age
  • Excessive exposure to UV (sunlight, tanning rooms, or sunlamps) & ionizing radiation (like X-rays or cancer RT)
  • Diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension or Obesity
  • Active smoking
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Previous eye injury or surgery (glaucoma or vitrectomy) or inflammation
  • High myopia
  • Long term and high dose use of corticosteroid & statin medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Eye diseases like glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, or long-term uveitis
  • Genetic
  • Congenital

How will I know about cataract in my eye?

Opacity of lens can occur in small part and patient remains unaware of the vision loss as he is able to see the objects due to adjustment made by both eyes. This is why, most of the cataract cases go unnoticed till the time significant vision loss occurs. But as the opacity increases, it leads to following signs and symptoms of cataract:

  • Blurred/misty/dim/fuzzy vision
  • Double vision from the affected eye
  • Increasing trouble with vision especially during night because of glare from car headlights
  • Recurrent increase in the number of eyeglass or contact lens
  • High sensitivity to bright light and glare of sun or lamp
  • Seeing “halos” everywhere
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Improved near vision for a short time (second sight)
  • In some rare cases, blindness