The Visionaries
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Leigh Vision Impaired Self Help Group


CATARACTS

What is it?

In the normal eye, light passes through a clear lens before it reaches the retina. The lens focuses light on the retina. In an eye with a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy. This clouding distorts rays of light and prevents light from being focused on the retina. This results in distortion of in one's vision. The lens of the eye is composed primarily of protein. Cataracts are caused by changes in the chemical makeup of the lens. With age, the lens becomes thicker and less clear.

 

 

Symptoms

Cataracts may cause:

Blurred vision

Double vision

Poor night vision


Need for bright lights when reading

 


Risk Factors

Age: as people get older, the risk of cataracts increases.

Ultraviolet Radiation: excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of cataracts.

Cigarette Smoking: smokers have a higher chance of getting cataracts than non-smokers.

Eye Injuries: injuries to the eye increase the risk of developing cataracts.

 

Diagnosis

Eye Examination: a doctor will look at the lens of a patient's eye to check for cataracts.

Treatment

Surgery: a cataract is removed and a new lens is inserted into the eye.