Cataract: Causes and Symptoms

Cataracts are also called old age cataracts, but age is not the only cause. Those affected suffer from symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life.

What are the causes of cataracts?

In cataracts, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and those affected see through a gray veil. The slowing down or deterioration of the metabolism in the lens of the eye, of protein and crystals, as a natural aging process, at least causes the age-related cataracts. In other cases it is not always clear what exactly is the cause of the cataract.

However, there are several factors that are considered to be a risk for cataracts. In addition to the natural progression of age, these include:

  • Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,
  • bad lifestyle, like little exercise and unhealthy diet,
  • Sunlight (UV rays),
  • Infrared rays,
  • Smoking,
  • Accidental eye injuries,
  • Medicines, especially cortisone
  • Eye surgery to remove the vitreous humor.

These factors are considered to be possible causes for the development of cataracts and can be related to an opacification of the lens that requires treatment.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy and affect people’s vision. Typical cataract symptoms include:

  • Decreased vision, as if through a gray veil,
  • Colors appear less vivid,
  • Contrasts are harder to see,
  • Sensitivity to light is increasing,
  • Deterioration in spatial perception,
  • Far vision becomes worse.
  • In the advanced stage, the lens is gray in color.

The symptoms usually appear insidious and completely painless. Those affected do not always notice the changes in vision immediately. Drivers are often the quickest to notice the changes, as the eyesight is particularly challenged. Over the years, the veil in the field of vision becomes thicker and leads to blindness if not treated.

To the ophthalmologist with cataracts

The creeping process of cataracts and the less intense symptoms often leave the development of the lens opacity unnoticed. In addition, the majority of those over 50 are affected. The tendency increases with age.

We therefore recommend annual control visits to the ophthalmologist from the age of 50 in order to be able to carry out a timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Unlike glaucoma, cataracts can be completely cured in most cases. Patients should not do without this, because cataracts can represent a great reduction in the quality of life for those affected.

Further information about cataract

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