What are Cataracts? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


As you get older, you become more susceptible to cataracts. Most ophthalmologists believe cataracts to be a part of ageing naturally. A cataract is the clouding of lens due to degradation of the proteins present in your lens. It causes blurred vision and glares which can prove to be an impediment in day to day routine. The condition may worsen over time if not taken care of appropriately. Luckily, the treatment for cataracts is quite straightforward. A simple surgery can remove the cataracts and help regain original vision. In this blog, we will discuss about cataracts and its various aspects.

What are Cataracts?

The lenses are a clear and flexible structure made of a protein called crystallins. As you age, these proteins break down around the age of 40 to form cloudy patches obstructing your vision. But the symptoms usually remain unnoticed till 60 unless you have other medical conditions like diabetes. There are many types of cataracts with the most common being age-related cataracts.

Symptoms and Causes

Cataracts form very slowly. Some of the symptoms of cataracts include:

    • Cloudy, foggy, filmy or blurred vision
    • Change in the way you see colour
    • Sensitive to bright lights
    • Glares or halos around lights
    • Near-sightedness, especially in older people
    • Difficulty seeing at night.
    • Trouble with vision prescription
    • Double vision in the affected eye
    • Need a brighter light to read.

The major cause of cataracts is the slow breakdown of the proteins present in the lens. But many factors may increase the risk of developing cataracts. They are:

  • Environmental risk factors like pollution and inhalation of toxic substances
  • Medical conditions like diabetes or glaucoma
  • Genetic mutations can increase or decrease your vulnerability to age-related cataracts

Diagnosis and Tests

An ophthalmologist can diagnose cataracts through cataract screening and evaluation. Our physicians conduct eye tests with the utmost care to examine your eyes and assess the severity of the condition. There are many questionnaires regarding previous medical history and medical tests to diagnose cataracts. Some of the tests are as follows:

  • Slit lamp exam.
  • Visual acuity test.

Methods of Treatment

Cataract surgery is the tried and tested treatment for cataracts offered by most super-specialty hospitals, including ours. Through this surgery, the doctor removes the damaged lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL) which is an artificial and permanent lens. IOL has multiple benefits as it is clear, much like natural ones and can correct refractive errors which reduces your dependency on prescription glasses for clear vision.
It is one of the safest surgery procedures conducted in the country taking around four to eight weeks for full recovery. But it is important that you are thoroughly aware of the risks involved and any medical complications.

We offer complete guidance and careful attention to every case regardless of severity as we believe that prevention is better than cure. Our team of ophthalmologists and optometrists are committed to bringing you the best treatment available with advanced technology and utmost care. Contact us today to book a consultation at one of the best eye hospital in Nagercoil.