Cataracts eye disease. Cataracts are clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens of the eye is located just behind the pupil. The lens provides a sharp image. Over the years, the lens becomes less clear. This is due to changes in protein composition and water content. This process occurs to varying degrees in all people and is also referred to as senile or senile cataracts. Usually, it involves both eyes. About 25% of people over 75 years of age are known to their GP for having cataracts. Slightly more often it concerns women. There are also other types of cataracts: congenital cataracts and cataracts from a disease or injury to the eye. The changes in the lens make the image blurry. In severe cases, cataracts can lead to blindness.
Symptoms of cataracts
Cataracts can develop in various places in the lens. If the cloudiness is in the center of the lens, complaints can arise at an early stage. Symptoms are blurred vision, problems with glare, and dull color vision. Especially poor vision indirect light is a frequently heard complaint. The need for glasses adjustments in a short period of time can also indicate cataracts.
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How does cataract eye disease occur?
Cataracts are caused by changes in the water content and protein composition of the lens. This process takes place with everyone. Some factors can negatively affect this process. Such as diabetes, strong myopia, long-term use of corticosteroids, previous eye operations, hereditary factors, and an unhealthy lifestyle. The congenital form of cataracts is rare.
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Is it serious what can you expect?
Cataracts gradually develop. There are no options to stop this process. The only treatment is surgical. An operation is only indicated if the cataract is very bothersome.
As long as you can do your daily activities without any problems, you do not need to be treated. Cataract treatment is generally surgical. The operation takes place in day treatment under local anesthetic. The ophthalmologist removes the cloudy lens and places an artificial lens. These lenses can last for the rest of your life. Sometimes new cloudiness develops after an operation (afterward). This can be removed with laser treatment.
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When to see the doctor?
In case of complaints of reduced vision, it is always advisable to consult your doctor. He can objectify your complaints and make a diagnosis with simple research. If necessary, he can refer you to an ophthalmologist for further examination. Besides cataracts, there are several other causes of impaired vision. In some cases, prompt treatment is required. When diagnosed with cataracts eye disease, management is usually wait-and-see. When the complaints are very annoying, a decision can be made for surgery.
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What can you do about cataract yourself?
There is actually little you can do about the development or progression of cataracts. A healthy lifestyle with limited alcohol consumption and no smoking could possibly have a beneficial effect.
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General advice and precautions?
Cataracts are a slowly worsening condition. As long as the sight is still acceptable, there is no need to intervene. It helps to place a good light source behind you for reading and other activities. Adapted aids can also be used, such as books with large print.
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