Cataract

Cataract

Immage of an orange Daisy, blurred etc as if seen by someone with cateracts

Cataract is a gradual clouding of the eye lens, leading to blurred or dull vision. The eye condition can however be corrected through surgery.

Image:
The image illustrate what an orange Daisy would look like to a person with cataracts.

Statistics

According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website (Resnikoff et al: 2004), cataract accounts for 39.1% of global blindness, making it the largest cause of blindness worldwide.

Risk factors

Contributing factors which increase risk of developing cataract include:

  • Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV-B light;
  • Exposure to radiation;
  • Smoking and alcohol abuse;
  • Diabetes, as well as obesity;
  • Age - the older you get, the higher your chance of developing cataract.

Prevention and treatment

  • As with many other eye conditions, the effects of cataract can be slowed down and reversed with early detection –a comprehensive eye exam is necessary at least once every two years.
  • Good nutrition, in particular, eating foods rich in antioxidants, can help slow the progress of cataract.
  • Wearing protection (such as sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat) whilst in the sun can prevent future development of cataract.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Surgery is the only way to treat cataract.

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