- Cataract is a common ophthalmic disorder that causes gradual decrease in vision by loss of lens transparency.
Cataract can be congenital or acquired. Studies have shown that about 70% of people over the age of 65 suffer from this medical condition, but sometimes cataract can also be found in younger patients.
In advanced, untreated stages, this condition can cause serious complications. In most cases, both eyes are affected, and the decrease in vision is not accompanied by pain. The patient complains on progressive loss of vision or on clouded, blurred or dim vision.
Congenital cataract is present at birth, either alone, or as a component of a complex malformation.
Cataract appears as a white area in the pupil of the affected eye. It requires emergent diagnosis and treatment in the first months of life; otherwise the visual function of the eye cannot be recovered.
- Cataract is generally developing with age, appearing as an aging of the lens. This disease may also have several underlying causes, such as general pathological conditions (e.g. diabetes mellitus, long-term use of steroids and other medications) or certain ocular disorders (myopia, inflammation or trauma of the eye). Among the environmental factors, the most often considered to be involved in cataract development is ultraviolet radiation.
- Symptoms of cataracts
Common symptoms of cataracts include: progressive blurry vision, trouble seeing at night, seeing colours as faded, increased sensitivity to glare, halos surrounding lights, double vision in the affected eye.
There are also particular forms of cataracts that decrease vision especially in bright light or imply a need for frequent changes in prescription glasses.
- Evolution of cataract
- Cataracts can interfere with daily activities and, when left untreated, lead to completely impeding the penetration of light into the eye and blindness. Although some stop growing, they don’t get smaller on their own.
For timely diagnosis and treatment, the patient presenting the symptoms mentioned above should be consulted by an ophthalmologist. After performing a comprehensive eye examination, cataract is relatively easy to diagnose.