According to a report by the Australian government, the country’s population is expected to grow to 25 million in 2032. This will be a sharp increase of 27% of the population registered in 2002. The same report sheds additional light when the number of older Australians is expected to be 8.9 million by 2032, a 100% increase from 4.4 million older Australians a decade ago. >
Now we know you are wondering “what does this mean in the cataract article?” Well, these numbers are important to note because people over 55 are common targets for this epidemic visual disorder. Thus, by 2032, we can expect about double the number of patients suffering from cataracts than in 2002. Before we continue, let’s deal with cataracts.
What is cataract?
In this medical condition, a cloud covers the lens of the eye. If left untreated, this cloud or cataract can lead to blindness. Although the risk of developing cataracts increases significantly after age 40, it is more common in people over 55. If you have a family member over the age of 55, see your optometrist.
In general, there are 3 different types of cataracts:
- Subcapsular cataract . This cataract occurs behind the lens of the eye and is widespread among diabetic patients or people who use steroids.
- Nuclear cataract – This occurs deep in the central area of the lens. Nuclear cataracts are more common in older people.
- Cortical cataract . This form of the disease occurs when jagged cloud edges form on the outer edges of the lens. Gradually, this cloud enters the cortex or nucleus of the lens.
This eye disease is more commonly diagnosed in diabetics and the elderly.
Symptoms and signs
When you first develop a cataract, you will feel as if a cloud is covering your eye. If you are driving at night, even a little light can upset you. Likewise, when the sunlight is not very bright, you may feel the excitement of the perceived super brightness.
This does not mean that all forms of cataracts have the same symptoms. For example, you may develop “second vision,” which is actually a symptom of nuclear cataract. In this situation, you may feel an improvement in vision.
People with subcapsular cataracts do not have symptoms. If you feel any of these signs, or even if you have vision problems, see eye specialists such as PersonalEyes cataract surgeons.
Causes of cataracts
Our lenses are composed of water and protein. This protein is designed in a special way, but with age it clumps together in a disordered manner. This disorder causes cataracts. The main function of our lenses is to focus light on the back of the eye and work just like a camera lens. However, due to distorted components, vision deteriorates, and in some cases, the patient may even go blind. No one knows why this disorder occurs, but it does involve the following conditions:
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Steroid use
- Using drugs to lower cholesterol
- Previous eye injuries
- Family history
As we can see, diabetes is a factor contributing to the development of cataracts. According to a government website, about 6% of Australia’s adults have diabetes. Thus, if you have this medical condition, you should watch out for any visual impairment.
How to prevent cataracts?
You can prevent this disease by including green and leafy vegetables that contain vitamin E in your diet. In addition, you may consider consuming almonds and other substances that contain vitamin C.
Many people avoid cataract treatment with spectacles, strong bifocals, and other visual aids. However, you can treat cataracts with eye surgery. During this surgery, the damaged lens of the eye is replaced with a plastic lens called a plastic intraocular lens or IOL. This lens protects your eyes from harmful UV radiation. This lens also blocks harmful blue light that damages your eyes.
In most cases, you may need to wear progressive glasses even after surgery.