Seeing Clearly: The Truth About Cataracts

December 27th, 2010
Seeing Clearly: The Truth About Cataracts

Given society’s overabundance of information and the ease with which it is spread, doctors are finding themselves having to correct the misinformation people unknowingly share. When we, or someone we know, go in for treatment we find ourselves sharing our symptoms and procedures with other individuals who are suffering from the same or similar maladies.

It’s a natural thing to do, but according to some doctors it can be confusing, especially when it comes to the delicate issue of cataracts. Dr. Cynthia Bradford, an ophthalmology professor at the University of Oklahoma, said that friends sometimes give confusing and conflicting information.

Although what we tell each other may be true, we fail to consider that every patient is different. Even with the best of intentions, this information on occasion results in people delaying treatment or causes them to anticipate too high a degree from treatment.

So, let’s set the record straight.

Cataracts, according to the U.S. National Eye Institute, happen when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and vision might continue becoming more cloudy, resulting in the person’s vision taking on a brownish shade that complicates the ability to differentiate colours.

Cataracts are not a growth or film on top of the eye. The issue with cataracts is with the eye’s lens, the reason why the lens has to be taken out and replaced in patients with cataracts.

Although the problem is most connected to ageing, cataracts don’t occur only in the elderly. Eye trauma, diabetes, long-standing steroid use, long-standing exposure to UV rays, smoking, genetics and severe long-term nearsightedness are all contributing factors to cataracts that are not contingent upon age.

If you suspect you might be developing cataracts, the longer you delay receiving treatment the worse it will be, health experts say. Unfortunately, there are no eye drops available to remedy cataracts by disbanding them or halting their progress, reports Prevent Blindness America.

The one established treatment for the ocular ailment is surgery. With more than 95% of all cataract treatments successfully performed, the chance of complications is minimal. The surgery, which is an out-patient procedure, is performed in about 30 minutes and patients leave with the ability to see through the afflicted eye the same day.

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