What is Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, which is situated right behind your pupil and is normally clear and transparent. If you have cataract, the lens in your eye will slowly become cloudy, preventing light from passing through. Cataract symptoms include blurry vision, both near and far. Seeing blurred colours and reduced visual acuity are also common symptoms, as is difficulty seeing in the dark (night blindness). Cataract can form in various ways, but they are mainly a symptom of old age, caused by an aging eye lens. In some cases, cataract can occur at a young age, which is typically due to a hereditary factor. Eye infections or prolonged use of medication can also be causes of cataract. Other eye conditions, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, or an unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to cataract. In some cases, cataract cannot be prevented. Only by adopting a healthy lifestyle and wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes from bright light can reduce the risk.

Treatment for Cataracts

If you have cataract but they do not affect your daily life, you do not have to seek treatment yet. Cataract never get better, though, and your eyesight will usually deteriorate slowly. If you are affected by cataract, the only treatment is cataract surgery. This involves replacing the cloudy lens by an artificial lens in what is a very short procedure that typically takes about 15 minutes. Your ophthalmologist will remove the old lens and place a new, tailor-made artificial lens. Cataract surgery can only be performed on one eye at a time. If you need cataract surgery for both eyes, you will have to wait for about a month before the second appointment can take place. After the operation, you may experience temporary vision blurring and teary eyes. These symptoms usually disappear quickly, after which you will be able to see sharply again, with improved perception of depth and contrast.

Diet and nutritional supplements to combat Cataracts

The same applies as to all other eye conditions: ‘A healthy lifestyle is very important’.
The best steps you can take are refraining from smoking, consuming little to now alcohol, and eating nutritious meals. Our eyes need nutrients to stay healthy, most importantly: Antioxidants, Alpha-lipoic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, C and zinc. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are also very important, but seeing as our bodies are incapable of producing these pigments, we have to depend on food or supplements. Food that contains these nutrients is very good for your eyes, but you can also take nutritional supplements in addition to your daily diet. Always make sure to consult with your doctor before you start taking supplements with your medication.