develops slowly and painlessly, so most people find out about it already in the ophthalmologist's office, when they have almost lost their vision.
Why cataracts occur and how not to miss their development was told
by Volodymyr Melnyk, an ophthalmologist of the highest category, ophthalmic surgeon, candidate of medical sciences, chief physician of the VISIOBUD clinic.
Causes of cataracts
A cataract is a partial or complete clouding of the lens, which acts as an anatomical lens.
It refracts the sun's rays, focusing them on the retina.
Allows us to clearly see objects that are near and far away.
When the lens becomes cloudy, visual acuity gradually decreases, and if it is not replaced with an artificial lens, the person becomes blind.
Cataract is a pathological process caused by the aging of the body (the biochemical composition of the lens changes, which mostly consists of proteins and water).
The absence of age-related cataract after 50 years is an exception to the rule.
Because age is the main reason for its development.
According to statistics, after 70 years up to 90% of people have cataracts, in 40-60 years - about 20%.
Among the reasons that contribute to the appearance of cataracts at any age, I single out:
diabetes (diabetic cataract);
congenital clouding of the lens (congenital cataract);
eye injuries and inflammatory processes;
prolonged exposure to the sun without sunglasses or lenses;
long-term use of certain drugs, for example, corticosteroids;
smoking, alcohol abuse;
Down syndrome, etc.
Cataract develops slowly and painlessly, so people do not immediately notice that the quality of vision has deteriorated.
The first noticeable symptoms appear within several months or even a year.
Cataracts can affect one or both eyes.
If both eyes are affected, the cataract progresses at its own pace in each of them.
Because of this, the visual acuity on each of them is noticeably different.
The first symptom that should alert you is the
effect of fog or foggy glass
, which does not disappear during wearing and subsequent replacement of glasses.
It indicates clouding of the lens.
The second symptom is
the appearance of glare.
In sunny weather or near a bright light source, halos or white streaks appear in front of the eyes.
Eyes become sensitive to light.
The third symptom is
a decrease in color sensitivity
and loss of image contrast.
Images fade, blur.
Over time, it is difficult for a person to determine the intensity of a color, or to distinguish between colors with similar shades.
You also have to strain your eyes to see the contours of objects at a far distance, small details or elements at a close distance.
For example, lines in a book or workbook, button design.
The fourth symptom is
the deterioration of twilight and night vision
With the onset of darkness, objects and objects lose clarity, merging with the darkness.
White flashes may appear.
The fifth symptom is a
temporary improvement in vision
It is at such moments that people postpone a visit to the ophthalmologist, because they believe that it is no longer necessary.
But ignoring the symptoms of cataracts leads to blindness in the future.
If you have even one symptom that fits the description of cataracts, you should see a doctor.
Treatment and prevention
The only effective treatment option for cataracts is surgery, during which a tiny micropuncture is performed in the eye shell up to 2 millimeters in size.
The clouded natural lens is removed with the help of a laser (ultrasound), replacing it with an artificial one, the so-called intraocular lens.
And an intraocular lens is installed in its place.
The operation lasts from 2 to 15 minutes.
The operation is easily tolerated, as it is performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia, and the quality of vision improves almost immediately.
In the case of an initial cataract, eye drops are sometimes used, which suspend the process of clouding of the lens.
However, the drops only slow down the process, which continues to develop.
Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with "cataract", try to set yourself up for surgery.
It is not necessary to wait for the vision to disappear completely and the cataract to "ripen", to use folk methods of treatment.
A mature cataract leads to the development of glaucoma (irreversible damage to the optic nerves), improper fixation of the artificial lens during surgery, or rupture of ligaments.
Today, there are no drugs or clear rules that will help avoid the development of cataracts.
But you can:
eat a balanced diet - eat foods rich in Omega-3 acids, vitamin A;
give up smoking and minimize alcohol consumption;
perform yoga for the eyes;
use sunglasses that protect against three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC;
monitor the general state of health and the development of existing diseases;
use moisturizing drops.
And the most important rule is to have your vision checked by an ophthalmologist at least once a year, as cataracts can develop at any age, regardless of lifestyle.
Timely professional treatment will help preserve vision and quality of life.
The chief doctor of the VISIOBUD clinic is Vladimir Melnyk
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