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What Are Cataracts - An In Depth Look At A "Cloudy" Topic

It's very simple: Cataracts are the clouding of the eye's lens which is located behind the pupil and iris. Left untreated, Cataracts can leave you blind, and is the number #1 cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40. There are more reported cases of cataracts than Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and other leading eye diseases combined.

This is definitely not something to take lightly, and you should have all the facts to make an informed decision if you think you have symptoms. So we created this guide to make everything a little less "cloudy".

 

 

What types of Cataracts are there?

There are 3 main types of cataracts that you should be aware of:


  • Senile cataracts (age related cataract) -
    This type of cataract starts out as a slight cloudiness and eventually becomes worse and worse until the sufferer's vision is completely gone. The cataract cortex liquifies and creates a milky white fluid which can cause inflammation. This can lead to other types of eye diseases if untreated such as glaucoma.
  • Congenital Cataracts - Babies can actually be born with cataracts if they received poor pre-birth care. (If their mother was a smoker, drinker, etc.) They also form as a result of infection and injury at a young age. (Because it is hard for their young immune systems to fight anything off.)
  • Traumatic (or secondary) Cataracts- Traumatic Cataracts form as a result of some type of direct eye injury. These can develop as a result of a diabetes, exposure to harmful toxins and fumes, frequent exposure to smoke (especially cigarette smoke) certain drugs like corticosteroids or diuretics, radiation, and ultraviolet rays. This is all in conjunction with any type of physical trauma as well.

 

What are the associated risk factors of Cataracts?

  • Age - Think about it this way, everyone in the entire world is at risk for cataracts because we're all going to get old eventually. In the united states more than 50% of senior citizens have a degree of clouding. After the age of 75, 70% of people have significantly impaired vision loss because of cataracts.
  • Genetics - You can't really get around this one. It doesn't matter what disease, condition, or deformity it is, if it's in your family's gene's, you are prone to getting it. And it's exactly the same for cataracts. If you are prone to cataracts or any eye related disease for that matter, make sure you are getting regular eye doctor appointments.
  • Diabetes - I mentioned this before, and that's because it's very important. The exact association between the two is not 100% certain. Doctors speculate it has to do with the role of the polyol pathway. Regardless, if you have diabetes, it is a must that you are frequently seeing your doctor.
  • Frequently Flying - Pilots and people who frequently fly (i'm talking over 20 times a month) are at a higher risk for cataracts. This has to do with the increased exposure to cosmic radiation.
Cataracts are very serious, and if not treated can leave your vision permanently disabled or even destroyed. If you think you have any symptoms of this disease, make sure you go to your eye doctor asap. The sooner they diagnose the disease, the better your chances are at getting your vision back. If you would like to read about the symptoms of cataracts click here:

 

 

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3 thoughts on “What Are Cataracts - An In Depth Look At A "Cloudy" Topic”

  • [...] Some may not be aware of this but nationwide, July is UV (ultraviolet light) Awareness/Safety Month. UV radiation, a known carcinogen, can have a number of harmful effects on the skin. There are two types of UV radiation: UVA and UVB. Both have been linked to skin cancer and a weakening of the immune system. They also contribute to premature aging of the skin, ocular melanoma and cataracts. [...]

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  • [...] Some may not be aware of this but nationwide, July is UV (ultraviolet light) Awareness/Safety Month. UV radiation, a known carcinogen, can have a number of harmful effects on the skin. There are two types of UV radiation: UVA and UVB. Both have been linked to skin cancer and a weakening of the immune system. They also contribute to premature aging of the skin, ocular melanoma and cataracts. [...]

    Reply
  • Coloured Contacts
    Coloured Contacts August 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    A cataract is usually a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision.

    Reply
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