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What is a cataract?

What is a cataract?

A cataract is when the normally clear lens in your eye gets cloudy.  The term is Greek in origin, meaning waterfall.  When someone developed cataracts in ancient times the pupil or black part of the eye turned white.  To the Greeks it looked like a waterfall!  Today, cataracts can advance to the stage of the white pupil, but usually it is detected either by the patient or the doctor before that time.  A cataract will cause blurry vision which is not corrected by glasses, glare from bright headlights or sunlight, or difficulty in low lighting situations.  This is a gradual process.  Sudden vision loss is rarely a cataract.

Is this an emergency?

Cataracts are not an emergency.  Most cataracts develop over many years.  Cataract surgery is elective.

How can a cataract be prevented?

Cataracts can be genetic, passed down in your family.  They can also develop rapidly from exposure to UV light, smoking, diabetes, poor nutrition, and from certain medications.  To prevent cataracts wear sunglasses with UV protection, eat plenty of leafy greens, and stop smoking.  Your doctor can tell you if you are on any medications which will advance cataracts.

How can a cataract be fixed?

There is no medications which can prevent or treat cataracts.  The only way to fix a cataract is through surgery.  Today, surgery is performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or surgery center.  In general, there is no pain associated with the removal of the cataract.  Since your own lens is removed, a new artificial lens is placed in your eye, which stays in your eye forever.  This new clear lens will improve your vision, and change your prescription.  Some people to not even need glasses for distance after surgery.

More information click here: Artificial lens

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