Cataracts are a degenerative form of eye disease in which the lens gradually becomes opaque and vision mists over.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of cataracts include
- Painless blurring of vision
- Frequent prescription changes for corrective lenses
- Glare and haloes
- Colours looking dull and brownish
- Poor night vision
- Both sensitivity to light and finding lighting too dim
What are the causes?
While cataracts can occur as the result of other eye diseases, they mostly develop due to age. In fact, it is believed that everyone would have cataracts if we lived long enough. Currently, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness among adults in Canada.
Less common causes of cataracts include
- Associated birth defects
- Chronic disease, such as diabetes
- Excessive use of steroid medications
- Eye Injury
How can it be treated?
While there is no way to prevent cataracts, there are several things you can do to limit or slow their formation. For instance, unstable molecules, known as free radicals, can damage cells in the eye, potentially causing problems such as cataracts. Studies have shown that antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help combat free radicals you may want to try Bausch + Lomb's Ocuvite® or PreserVision® vitamins. Ask your physician or eye care professional whether vitamin supplements are right for you. Also, protecting your eyes from strong sunlight may slow the formation of age-related cataracts.
There are no medications, eyedrops, exercises, or glasses that will cause cataracts to disappear. However, they can be successfully treated with surgery.
Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.