What is a cataract?

Inside the eyeball between the vitreous body and the iris is the "natural lens" of the human eye - the lens. It is because of its transparency and elasticity that light rays are easily transmitted and refracted, and the focus is equally well directed at distant and near objects. With age, the lens gradually becomes cloudy and loses flexibility, as a result, only some light rays penetrate into the eye. The ancient Greeks called this disease - kataraktes (waterfall), because the patient sees the image is blurry, as if through falling water. If the disease progresses, the area of ​​turbidity increases, vision decreases and complete blindness may occur. Therefore, it is important to know what a cataract is, what its symptoms and treatment are, especially for elderly people who are at risk.

Types of disease

Statistics show that almost every person in the world after 80 years suffers from this disease, and in 20 million cataracts cause blindness. Moreover, women are sick twice as often as men.The disease can occur at any age, under the influence of various factors. To understand what a cataract is, doctors distinguish different types of diseases:

  • congenital cataract
  • traumatic
  • complicated
  • ray
  • cataract caused by common diseases of the body
  • senile

Causes of Cataracts

Ophthalmic surgeons noticed that the time of maturation of cataracts in patients can be as fast as 4 years (12%), and slow - 15-20 years (15%). But in 70% of patients the cataract progresses in 6–10 years and without surgical intervention, a slight clouding of the lens can lead to an almost complete lack of vision. Therefore, it is important to know how a cataract is diagnosed, the causes and symptoms of its manifestation. The disease may occur as a result of:

  • eye injuries (mechanical, chemical, contusion)
  • genetic predisposition
  • eye diseases (myopia, glaucoma)
  • endocrine disorders (diabetes, metabolic disorders, vitamin deficiency)
  • radiation, ultraviolet and microwave radiation
  • long-term use of certain drugs
  • increased radiation
  • toxic poisoning (thallium, mothballs, mercury)
  • smoking (nicotine causes cataracts)

Symptoms of this disease

In the early stages to identify this insidious disease, only a qualified specialist can. He examines the fundus of the eye and, if necessary, conducts biomicroscopy of the eye, using a slit (light) lamp. With the development of the disease, the following symptoms appear:

  • flickering stripes and spots before your eyes
  • in bright lighting the appearance of halos around large objects
  • difficulty reading, writing, sewing
  • Pupil color changes to white

Cataract treatment

Cataract treatment in modern ophthalmologic clinics is carried out using the method of ultrasonic phacoemulsification. During the operation, the cloudy, cataract-affected lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. During surgery, local drip anesthesia is used, which does not affect the cardiovascular system and is easily tolerated by patients.


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