What You Need to Know About Cataracts
As people age, their eyesight tends to deteriorate naturally, and most people, truth be told, will need some form of reading glasses by the time they reach retirement age. The human eye is also affected by a lifetime of exposure to radiation, and experts believe that this can contribute to the formation of what is known as a cataract. If you've been told that you may be developing a cataract in one or both of your eyes, what do you need to know, and what should you do?
Millions of people around the world will develop a cataract as they get to an advanced age. Sometimes, it can appear in middle age, but the good news is that doctors can typically fix the issue without too much trouble.
The lens within the eye begins to deteriorate, and this will affect the quality of the signal that is beamed through the retina and is ultimately converted into an image by the brain. The lens itself will begin to cloud over, and while this process does take some time, the cataract will eventually progress to such a degree that the patient will be unable to use that eye effectively.
Remember, the lens within the eye is a very delicate object made mostly from protein and water. It's very sensitive to ultraviolet rays and strong light, which is why doctors always recommend that people wear sunglasses during the day. It will naturally lose some of its flexibility as the years go by and, eventually, will begin to cloud over and need replacement.
As the pieces of protein within the eye start to coagulate, harder patches develop. As the natural lens relies on its flexibility, it will be unable to function, and it will therefore need to be replaced by an artificial alternative. However, cataract surgery is one of the most common operations in the world and will usually only take about 20 minutes.
Once you have received a local anaesthetic, the surgeon will make a very small incision into the eye and remove the old lens using a suction device. They will then insert an artificial lens in its place.
The success rate for this operation is extremely high, and it does not take much time to recover either. If you've been finding it difficult to see due to an advanced cataract, you'll be amazed at the difference following the procedure.