07 Oct What are cataracts and how do you prevent them?
Who hasn’t heard “…my mum had a recent cataract operation…”? We all know it’s do with the eyes but we don’t really know what it is.
Watch out with cataracts!
Every human being has a type of transparent lens inside our eyes, it is the size of a lentil and is called the crystalline lens.
After the age of 40, the crystalline lens begins to change and it loses quality. It begins to cloud over and it becomes stained with CATARACTS.
Therefore, a cataract is not a veil or a tumour, it is actually the crystalline lens which, due to age and its physiology, becomes clouded over and thus reduces your sight.
We are all heading towards cataracts (one in each eye) sooner or later; some people at the age of 60 and others later.
Risk factors for cataracts:
- An advanced age: this represents the main factor. At the age of 75, more than 70% of the population has significant cataracts.
- Family history of cataracts.
- Prolonged exposure to the sun.
- High blood pressure.
- Traumatisms, inflammation in the eyes.
- Previous ocular surgery.
- Taking steroids (especially orally or inhaled).
- Cataracts from birth (congenital cataracts).
How to avoid cataracts
It is obvious that the main risk factor is old age, which is difficult to avoid, however, the more healthy habits we can have (not smoking, Mediterranean diet, doing regular exercise, etc.) the better it is for us in the prevention of cataracts.
It is of utmost importance to use adequate sunglasses to avoid the damaging effects of the rays of the sun. Indeed, we would like to stress the fact that we are seeing more and more patients with lesions, some of which are serious, due to the use of inadequate poor-quality sunglasses. It is essential to ask advice from qualified ophthalmologists and opticians. This issue indeed deserves a whole section to itself!
When the cataract actually produces a loss of sight, the only option left to recover the sight is surgery. Only an expert in cataract surgery will be able to tell you what type of technique you should have and when.
Fortunately, cataract surgery represents a great scientific advance, above all if we consider that with just a few drops of anaesthesia, in just a few minutes, not only can you get rid of the cataracts but you can have an intraocular lens implanted, giving you back your vision, and allowing you to get rid of your glasses.
Do you need more help? You can have a free consultation about this and any other topic related to the health of your eyes through the section Questions for the Ophthalmologist. We will be delighted to help you.