According to an Australian government report, the population of the country is expected to rise to 25 million in 2032. This would be a dramatic rise of 27% of the population registered in 2002. The same report sheds further light upon the expected number of elderly Australians, which is supposed to be a significant 8.9 million by 2032, a 100% hike from 4.4 million elderly Australians recorded a decade back.
Now we know that you are wondering,” what does this imply in an article about Cataract?” Well, these figures are important to note because people above 55 years of age are the usual targets of this epidemic vision disorder. So by 2032, we can expect approximately twice the number of patients suffering from cataracts than we had in 2002. Before we proceed further, let us understand cataract.
What is a Cataract?
In this medical condition, a cloud covers the lens of the eye. If not treated, this cloud or cataract can lead to blindness. While the risk of developing a cataract significantly increases beyond 40 years of age, it is more prevalent in people above 55. If you have any family member of 55 or above, please consult an eye doctor.
Broadly, there are 3 different types of cataract:
- Subcapsular cataract– This cataract occurs behind the eye lens and is prevalent among diabetes patients or people who consume steroids.
- Nuclear cataract– This occurs deep within the central area of the lens. A nuclear cataract is more likely to be found in aged people.
- Cortical cataract– This form of illness happens when rough edges of clouds form on the outer borders of the lens. Gradually, this cloud finds its way to the cortex or the nucleus of the lens.
This eye disorder is more commonly diagnosed in diabetics and elderly people.
Symptoms and Signs
When you first develop a cataract, you will feel as if a cloud is covering your eye. If you are driving in the night, even a small glare might unnerve you. Similarly, when the sunlight is not very bright, you might feel agitated because of the perceived super brightness.
This is not to say that all the forms of cataract have the same symptoms. For example, you might develop a ‘second sight’ which is actually the symptom of nuclear cataract. In this situation, you might experience an improvement in sight.
People who have Subcapsular cataracts do not develop any symptoms. If you relate with the signs mentioned or even if you suspect a vision issue, please consult eye specialists like PersonalEyes cataract surgeons.
Causes of Cataracts
Our lenses are of water and protein. This protein is arranged in a particular way but as we age, it gets clumped together in a disorderly fashion. This disorder causes a cataract. The primary function of our lenses is to focus light at the back of the eye and work exactly like a camera lens. However, due to the distorted components, the vision is blurred and in some cases, the patient may even get blinded. Nobody knows why this disorder happens but it is associated with the following conditions:
- Ultraviolet radiations
- Using steroids
- Using medicines to reduce cholesterol
- Previous eye injuries
- Family history
As we can see, diabetes is a contributing factor to cataract. According to a government website, nearly 6 % of all Australian adults have diabetes. So, if you have this medical condition, you should be wary of any eyesight flaws.
How to prevent Cataract?
You can prevent this disease by including green and leafy vegetables, which contain Vitamin E, in your diet. Additionally, you may consider consuming almonds and other substances, which contain Vitamin C.
Many people avoid cataract treatment by going in for glasses, strong bifocals and other visual aids. However, you can get your cataract treated permanently by undergoing eye surgery. During this surgery, your damaged eye-lens is replaced with a plastic lens called plastic intraocular lens or IOL. This lens tends to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation. This lens also blocks harmful blue light that damages your eyes.
In most cases, you may have to wear progressive eyeglasses even after surgery.