Facts About Cataract Facts About Cataract

Facts About Cataract and Its Post-Operative Care

Different Facts About Cataract

Before understanding the different facts about cataract lets understand What is cataract? Inside of our eyes we have a natural clear lens, through which the light comes into the eyes and helps us to see things. A cataract is a medical condition that affects those natural lens in eye by making the lens cloudy. This creates obstacles from seeing things naturally. The protein in the lens breaks down which causes blurry, hazy or less colorful vision. This problem is quite common for the older people. The cataract develop in the eye slowly but over time, it makes your vision blurry. It makes reading, driving a car difficult.

As per NIH more than half of the Americans aging 80 or above are either having cataracts in their eyes or have gone through the cataract surgery for achieving better vision. Hence to understand its causes and effects the article has discussed various facts about cataract. The article has also discussed its natural remedies.

What causes cataract in the eyes?

The most common reason is aging. After the age of 40 the proteins and fibers in the eyes start to break down and clump together. This makes the lens of the eyes cloudy. With the increase in age this gets worse.

Another reason can be injury. Injury may cause you to develop traumatic cataracts. Cataract can develop right after the injury and it slowly grows in the eyes.

Some medical conditions like past eye surgery and diabetes can cause you to develop cataract. Also, any disease in the body caused by inherited genetic disorders may cause you to develop cataract in the eyes.

Some other reasons are:

  • Long-term consumption of steroid medications
  • Certain diuretic use
  • Excessive smoking
  • Certain major tranquilizers

Different types of cataracts

While discussing the different facts about cataract, we must know the different types of cataracts as well. There are mainly 3 types of cataracts; Nuclear Sclerotic, Cortical and Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract:

This is the most common type of cataract in the eyes. At the initial stage this begins with yellowing and hardening the central portion of the crystalline lens. This affects the ability of eyes to focus and close-up vision. Temporarily, this can increase the refractive power of the lens which can improve the close-up vision. This situation can be referred to as nearsightedness. Nuclear sclerotic cataract gradually can cause colors to be less vibrant. This develops slowly and gradually starts affecting other layers of the lens.

Cortical Cataract:

The cortical cataract develops in the shell layer or the outer layer of the lens called the cortex. The cataract looks like a wheel or a star pattern. The cortical cataract gradually spreads towards the center of the lens. The closer the opacities are to the center of the visual axis, the more they affect the vision. This scatters the light which enters into eyes which causes blurred vision, glares, light sensitivity etc. The progression of cataract may differ from months to years.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts (PSC):

This type of cataracts develop directly under the lens capsule. At the early stage a small cloudy area or opaque develops at the posterior of the lens. This cataract mostly develops in the younger patients. Eye injuries, radiation, or steroids can cause the children to develop this type of cataract in their eyes. PSC tends to occur more rapidly and over the time it becomes large enough to cause vision problems. If you have PSC you may see halo effects and glare around the lights or you may face problem in reading books or anything.

Signs and symptoms of cataract

Cataracts may not put you in trouble at their initial stage but as they grow they can cause you some problems in your vision. Some signs of cataract in the eye can be:

  • Cloudy, blurry, foggy or filmy vision
  • Glare of bright lights
  • Seeing a halo around lights
  • Seeing double or more images of a single object
  • Increased sensitivity to bright sunlight, lamps or headlights
  • Problem in seeing well at night
  • Problem in reading book and driving car
  • Reduction in the brightness of colors
  • Reduced clarity of vision
  • Frequent changes of eyeglasses or contact lens

If you are facing any of the above mentioned problems in your eye then it is time for you to consult with an eye doctor (Ophthalmologist).

Cataract stages

To understand the different facts about cataract the reader should identify the different stages of cataract. There are mainly 4 stages of cataract. These are:

Early cataract:

It’s a beginning stage of developing cataract in the eyes. The lens remains clear but a change in ability to focus between near and far vision can be noticed. Some very slight blurred vision, mild eye strain, and early light sensitivity can be noticed at this stage. The stage 1 cataract is relatively unnoticeable but you might find it difficult to focus on an object that is in distance.

Immature cataract:

This is the stage where the Cataract starts being noticeable. The protein which has broken down and started making the lens cloudier. You might need brighter lights to see things clearly. Some symptoms include difficulty in driving at night, increase in glares and seeing halos around point sources of light. Anti-glare lenses and updates in doctor’s prescription may help you to improve your vision temporarily.

Mature cataract:

This is the stage where the cataract becomes fully noticeable and the vision starts getting significantly compromised. At this stage the opaque spreads through the lens and appears to be milky and white, or amber in color. Reading books become challenging for the patient. Updating glasses or wearing anti-glare lenses stops improving vision. At this stage the patient should visit an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery.

Hypermature cataract:

Hypermature cataracts are those which become very dense and hardened. At this stage the whole lens becomes cloudy and this can be seen in naked eyes. The reduced vision leads to the visual impairment. Hypermature cataracts are difficult to remove however, without surgical treatment for removing this, no other option is available. If not treated properly then this can cause inflammation in eyes.

Does cataract cause dizziness?

This discussion on the various facts about cataract includes its effect on visual vertigo. Poor vision can cause visual vertigo or the dizziness. This can also cause you to be off balance. If you are asking whether there is any relation between dizziness and the cataract or not, then we must say, “Yes” there is a relation between them but usually this happens after cataract surgery. The dizzy spells after cataract surgery and this is a part of the eye’s healing process. At this stage your eyes and your brain try to adjust with your vision and with your new artificial lens. It takes time to get accustomed which may cause a little dizziness at this stage.

Is cataract curable?

Yes, the cataracts are curable. There are a few home and natural remedies which can prevent eyes from forming a cataract and can cure cataracts too. However, this does not have any proven effectiveness. Hence the most effective method of removing the cataract from eyes is cataract surgery.

Natural remedies for cataract

The traditional way to treat the cataract is by undergoing a cataract surgery. Researchers are yet to prove whether medications can remove cataract or improve vision. However a recent Animal study has discussed a promising result on the natural cure of cataract with the help of an eye drop which can reverse the formation and the development of cataracts.

There are a few home remedies as well which can help you cure the cataract without undergoing cataract eye surgery.


Honey has little evidence of impact on cataract. This contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which are good for overall health. These properties in it are helpful to cure cataracts as well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids work as Anti- inflammation. They can reduce the risk of developing cataract. Omega 3 Fatty Acids can be found in walnuts, flaxseed, and some types of seafood.

Lifestyle changes:

There are some lifestyle habits that can cause you to develop cataracts in eyes. These habits include Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Cutting down on both can reduce the risk of developing cataracts.

Healthy diet:

The foremost requirement of natural treatment for cataract includes the consumption of the Antioxidants. As we have mentioned earlier, antioxidants can help reduce cataract, this also protects eyes from cataract-causing oxidative stress. They also prevent the formation of cataracts in the eyes by maintaining the enzymatic pathways. Hence, fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are best for protecting your eyes from developing cataract and can help you to reduce the cataract in your eyes.

Foods rich in Vitamin A can prevent from losing vision caused by degenerative conditions such as development of cataracts in eyes. Vitamin A rich foods are dark leafy green veggies, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Foods rich in Vitamin C help to reduce the risk of development of cataract. Berries, peppers, Citrus fruits, tropical fruits, broccoli and tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C.

Foods rich in Vitamin E are also great for reducing the risk of formation of cataract in the eyes. Wheat germ, almonds, sweet potatoes and spinach contain high amounts of Vitamin E.

Avoid UV Exposure:

People who work outdoors, long-term exposure to the UVA and UVB rays can cause them to develop cataracts. Avoid over UV exposure, wear sunglasses; that can help block 99% of UV rays. This would help you to reduce the risk of development of cataract.

When should I have cataract surgery?

Well, there is no such thumb rule to determine when to go for a cataract surgery. It depends on your own vision. If you are not capable to see anything clearly and your blurry vision is affecting your overall quality of life or daily activities then it is time for you to go for a cataract surgery. For example, driving at night has become difficult for you, blurry vision has made reading the newspaper tough for you, your eyeglasses are not satisfying your visual needs anymore, you have become sensitive to light, and you may see Yellow Hue, halos around light sources.

Cataracts can be removed at any stage. Waiting for the cataract to become extremely thick or “mature” can make surgery more difficult. Hence waiting doesn’t make any sense. So it is simple to say that when the cataract starts interfering with everyday activities, it is time for you to go for an eye cataract surgery.

Can cataract surgery correct astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an eye condition when an imperfection shape of the surface of the cornea or crystalline lens is noticed. It means the eyes are not perfectly round in shape. Eyes with Astigmatism are more oblong-shaped or football shaped. Astigmatism causes blurry vision as the light does not pass through the cornea and focuses on the retina perfectly. Doctors could not find the exact cause of the astigmatism however, this can be corrected at the time of cataract surgery.

Toric IOL:

Toric IOL is a special intraocular lens (IOL), which is replaced with the cloudy cataract lens at the time of cataract surgery. This Toric IOL lens functions similarly like Toric contact lenses for astigmatism. Implanting the Toric IOL lens inside the eyes at the time of cataract surgery is a common method to treat the refractive error caused by astigmatism. This improves the vision by changing the way light is refracted through the lens and corrects the corneal astigmatism. This improves the distance vision as well.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI):

This is an alternative process of implanting a Toric IOL. Through this some minor incisions can be done of your astigmatic eyes during the cataract surgery. The incision is done to correct the shape of the curvature of the cornea which helps to eliminate the astigmatism. This is done by making some small but deep cuts around the outer edges of the cornea. Usually, this surgery is done prior to the implantation of the IOL.

Post-OP care for cataract surgery

While discussing the facts about cataract, we must know about its Post-OP care as well. There are a few instructions that your doctor will ask you to follow soon after completing the cataract surgery. Here are a few restriction that are mentioned below:

  1. Use an eye shield for the first few weeks.
  2. Follow the doctor’s instructions.
  3. Use doctor’s prescribed eye drops as per the instruction.
  4. Keep yourself away from dusty areas for the first few weeks.
  5. Wear sunglasses on bright days at least for a year after cataract surgery.
  1. Avoid rubbing the eyes until you start feeling your eyes are normal.
  2. Avoid going swimming for the first few weeks.
  3. Avoid using face cream or lotion for the first 2 weeks.
  4. Avoid lifting weight or doing strenuous activities soon after cataract surgery.
  5. Do not drive for at least 2 weeks after the cataract surgery.
  6. Avoid putting eye make-up, using face wash or soap and shampoo for the first few weeks or until the doctor advises you.

Sleep position after cataract surgery

It is advised by many doctors not to sleep on the side that was operated on soon after the operation. Wearing an eye shield would help you to reduce the risk of infection and irritation during sleep time. You can sleep on the back or on the opposite side of the operated eye for the first few weeks.

Eye cataract surgery recovery time

Usually the eyes take 6 to 8 weeks to heal from cataract surgery. But the cataract surgery recovery time may differ person to person as this depends on various factors like a person’s physiology, nature and the size of the cataract. Initially you may feel some discomfort in your eyes but this will disappear within a few weeks. This is a sign of healing from the surgery. It has been noticed that patients who had surgery of secondary and traumatic cataracts have recovered more quickly in comparison to the patients with age-related cataracts.

Post operative complications of cataract surgery

Patients may experience some cataract eye surgery side effects. We have mentioned these side effects below:

  1. Swelling in eye after cataract surgery.
  2. Feel itching or discomfort in the eyes.
  3. Dryness in the eyes.
  4. You may feel increased intraocular pressure on the eyes.
  5. You may feel some allergic reaction.
  6. You may feel like something is there in the eyes.
  7. You may see some Glare, halos in the low light or at night time.
  8. Light sensitivity.
  9. Bloodshot or redness of eye after cataract surgery.
  10. After surgery Droopy eyelids/Ptosis.

The cataract makes your life difficult by making your vision cloudy. It slowly grows and becomes a big obstacle to your daily activities. The article has explained every facts about cataract and discussed every possible remedies to prevent it. It is better to take action instead of waiting till the last moment. If the home remedies don’t work, it is better to go for a surgery and remove the cataract. Initially you may feel some problems in your eyes after the cataract surgery but consider this as a sign of healing. Also if the discomfort and inflammation increase then it is better to discuss with your eye doctor.

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