Anyone can experience cataracts, as the biggest risk factor is age. Eye cataracts can make it difficult for you to interact with others because it is difficult for you to read their facial expressions.
What’s more, cataract-induced dust can make it difficult to read or drive a car, especially at night.
What causes cataracts?
Most of the causes of cataracts are due to the aging process which causes the lens to change to become cloudy or hazy. But you don’t have to be an old man to get cataracts.
You can even start developing cataracts in your 40-50s. But in middle age, most cataracts are mild and do not really affect how you look. It is only after your 60s that cataracts cause serious vision problems.
Several other factors may play a role in your risk of developing cataracts:
- History of eye inflammation, such as glaucoma
- History of eye injury
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing cataracts
- Medicine. Certain drugs are known to increase the risk of cataracts, such as corticosteroids, chlorpromazine, and other phenothiazine drugs.
- UV radiation. Studies show increased chances of cataract formation by exposure to long-term exposure to bright sunlight
- Drinking habits. Several studies have shown an increased risk of cataracts in people taking alcohol at higher doses, than those who drink less or have never consumed alcohol at all.
- Malnutrition. Although the findings have not been confirmed. Studies show that the association between the risk of having cataracts and low antioxidant levels in the body (for example, vitamins C and E, and carotenoids).
Cataract eyes rarely appear at birth or in childhood, although these visual disturbances can be inherited or develop due to infection in pregnant women, such as rubella.
How does the condition of cataract apply?
The cataract appeared in the lens, a transparent crystal structure behind the pupil. This one-eye structure works like a camera lens by focusing light on the retina behind the eyes, where the image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the focus of the eye, allowing us to see things clearly near and far.
The lens is made of water and protein. These proteins are arranged in such a way as to make clear colored lenses to allow light to pass through. But as we get older, some proteins freeze and begin to form cloudy clouds that cover the lens. This prevents light from entering the eyes and also reduces the sharpness of the image we see. Over time, protein fog can develop to cover most of the lens, giving us blurred or blurred vision. This is a cataract.
Cataracts usually take years to grow. As cataracts get worse, cataracts can affect the color we see. This makes the objects we see a little brown to yellow. Cataracts often affect both eyes, but rarely with the same severity.
The characteristics and symptoms of cataracts
People with cataracts may have the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision or fog
- Vision can be affected by small spots
- Blurred vision in only a few areas of sight
- Vision declines when the lighting goes low
- Vision diminishes when you are in a room with very bright lights, or dazzling
- The color intensity is fading/dimming
- Always replace prescription glasses or contact lenses. In the end, the mirror no longer works
- Very rarely, people see halo (white ring) around bright objects, such as car lights or street lights or, they can have multiple eyes in one eye.
Avoid eye cataracts
There are no treatments to prevent or delay the development of cataracts. In the case of age-related cataracts, changes in vision can be very gradual.
Some people may not be aware of visual changes. However, when cataracts worsen, symptoms improve.
But some lifestyle changes can help you slow down the process or even prevent it altogether. For example:
1. Wear sunglasses when the weather is hot
Wearing sunglasses and a hat tightly to block ultraviolet sunlight can help to slow down cataracts. If you smoke, stop now.
2. Limit carbohydrate intake
Reducing the risk of cataracts can be done by limiting the intake of carbohydrates. A study published in Ophthalmology of Visual Research & Science found that people who eat a lot of carbohydrates are three times the risk of cataracts than those who eat less.
3. Drink tea
Green or black tea can save our eyesight. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that green and black tea can inhibit the development of diabetes-related cataracts.
4. Increase your vitamin C intake
Increased vitamin C intake is associated with cataract reduction. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that high levels of vitamin C reduced cataract risk by 64 percent.
Other nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E and zinc, are also known to reduce the risk of several eye diseases, including cataracts. Researchers also recommend that you multiply green leafy vegetables, fruits, and other foods with antioxidants.
Meanwhile, high lycopene intake, a natural chemical that produces fruits and vegetables in red, was associated with an increased risk of cataract by 46 percent.