Cataracts are a condition of the lens of the eye and are the most common cause of blindness worldwide. In health, the lens is responsible for focusing light onto the retina to enable sight. With cataracts, the lens becomes opaque or cloudy, adversely affecting the amount of light that can reach the back of the eye.
Symptoms of cataracts
People affected by cataracts complain of a variety of sight-related problems, including blurred vision, halos around lights and reduced vision, which causes problems with reading, driving and the performance of other normal daily activities. There is also an increased risk of falls.
Causes and treatment of cataracts
The causes of cataracts are many and varied, but some risk factors include a family history of the condition, trauma to the eye, diabetes, smoking and sunlight damage. If your cataracts are not too severe, you may be able to manage with stronger prescription glasses and by using bright reading lights to perform tasks. However, the definitive treatment for cataracts is surgery: the damaged lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens.
Protection from developing cataracts
It is commonly said that prevention is better than cure, so taking care of your eyes now could pay dividends in the future. Here are just some steps you could take to protect your eyes from developing cataracts:
• Trauma to the eye can damage the lens, causing it to swell and whiten, so it is really important to be alert to the need for eye protection. When carrying out manual work make sure to wear goggles to protect your eye from any flying debris. Protective goggle may also be worn while play sports such as squash, when the eye may be stuck by a high-speed ball. Consider your environment and your activities.
• Exposure to radiation can also cause lens damage. The most common type of radiation exposure is to the Ultra Violet (UV) light present in sunlight. Wearing sunglasses can help protect the lens against sun damage. Look for sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
• Moderate your alcohol consumption. Like cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of developing cataracts.
• Keep healthy. The risk of developing cataracts increases with conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. So enjoying a healthful diet, taking part in regular exercise and keeping your weight within normal limits will benefit your eyes, as well as your body and mind.
• Get your eyes checked regularly by an optician or ophthalmologist. Your eye specialist will also check for other sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
About Ramsay Health Care
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment or for your surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Premium Care offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.
Please contact us for more information.