Cataracts are a condition in which the lens that is located within the eye becomes cloudy. This area of the eye, under normal circumstances, is clear to allow for proper vision. The problem with the development of this cloudiness of the inner eye is that the more cloudy it becomes then the worse a person’s vision becomes as it impedes clear vision and often causes the individual to see things in a blurry or out of focus way.
It is possible for cataracts to be present in both eyes at one time however one eye is usually worse than the other. This is an extremely common occurrence in the elderly population and often strikes individuals who are over the age of sixty years. This occurrence is commonly classified as age related cataracts.
When an individual is affected by cataracts they will eventually have difficulties with common tasks such as driving or reading. These difficulties are often worse at night. In most cases cataracts do not produce pain and far away vision is affected the most in the beginning. Over time even being able to determine another person’s facial expressions becomes almost impossible to do.
Many people who develop cataracts are unaware of the occurrence for quite some time as the condition generally progresses at a very slow rate. Over time however the clouding of the eye lens worsens and eventually this causes vision to suffer. Although increased light and glasses may help initially it will become necessary at some point to have these cataracts surgically removed to restore vision to a normal state.
It has been reported that cataracts are responsible for more vision problems than any other condition especially in under developed countries where good medical treatment is hard to obtain.
Although cataracts are common among the elderly and it is thought that everyone has the potential to face this condition at some point in their lives there have also been other risk factors associated with this condition. Individuals who have been exposed to these risk factors may have a higher chance of developing cataracts than others.
Some of the factors that are thought to increase the development of cataracts include age, prolonged exposure to sunlight, diabetes, family history, previous injury to or inflammation of the eye, lead exposure and the long term use of corticosteroids such as that which is present in many asthma medications.
Although it is nearly impossible to detect cataracts at very early stages some of the symptoms that may become present over time include increasing difficulty reading, frequent need to change prescriptions of glasses, vision that is cloudy, blurry or misty, vision that is worsened by excessively bright or dim lighting and in rare cases double vision.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms you should see your doctor for evaluation, diagnosis and referral to a specialist that treats specific conditions of the eye as soon as you notice a problem. This most often results in surgery which is usually effective to restore clear eyesight.

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