What are cataracts?
Cataracts are a visual impairment caused by the lens in your eye developing cloudy patches which result in blurry vision. The lens in our eyes in a healthy condition are clear and transparent however over time with cataracts these patches become progressively worse creating more blurred/Misty vision over time potentially leading to blindness.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts are caused by many different factors . Predominantly it is caused by aging or injury to the tissue of the lens. Overtime as a result of aging this just may occur naturally as the tissue deteriorates, on the other hand injury to the lens could cause the cataracts through excessive impact on the eyes lens. Furthermore other considerations have to be taken into for what causes cataracts, for example other inherited conditions may increase the likelihood of having the disorder , other visual impairments could leed to the damage of the lens also.
Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:
- Clouded, blurred or dim vision.
- Increasing difficulty with vision at night.
- Sensitivity to light and glare.
- Need for brighter light for reading and other activities.
- Seeing “halos” around lights.
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
- Fading or yellowing of colors.
How are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Cataracts is diagnosed through your typical eye examination. Specifically a visual acuity test, which uses letters on a board from a specific distance where the person being tested will have to read out a series of letters which progressively get smaller further down the board. As cataracts cause blurred vision the person wouldn’t be able to read the progressively smaller letters.
Results may lead the patient to be referred by the optician for further eye examinations to determine the root cause and confirm a diagnosis of cataracts.
In the early stages of cataracts, when it isn’t so bad, strong prescription lenses tend to be the most common solution. However, when cataracts get progressively worse, surgery tends to be the only option to fully restore the vision. This is done by replacing the lens of the damaged eye
About the Author
Liam went from being able to read and write in perfect 20/20 vision, completing his GCSE examinations in 2017, to having someone else read his results a mere few months later, on results day. He suffers from Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), which is the acute or subacute loss of central vision predominantly affecting young adult males. There is no pain.
I am 19 years old and still adapting to my central vision loss, writing this blog is a reminder of my adaptations over abnormality. As you read this, attempt to do so with both thumbs up in front of the centre of your eyes…. difficult right? This is reminiscent of my experience of having central vision loss.
Despite having the experience of dealing with sight loss it has taught me the fundamental coping method of having a disability. It’s the ability to adapt. Over time, and with persistence, that experience simply becomes normal. As I write this my screen is zoomed in four times. I have learned to touch type and use technology such as ‘text to speech’ that enables me to write this blog . As quickly as I lost my vision, I found I had to quickly to adapt to these changes.
With all forms of life-altering events, it does present some form of psychological torment. But in my experience, my mother felt the hardship of loss more than I did. I was caught up in adapting to my disability and spared little time thinking about the emotional consequences of the situation.
My family had a sense of hurt due to not being able to have control of the situation. I suppose nothing is harder than always being the figure who can solve problems for your child, to not being able to solve this problem. Fully understanding the problem can help with solving the emotional aspects of a disability. My adaptations ‘normalised’ my newfound disability. A combination of professional advice, along with my experience and adaptations, helped my family gain understanding and a real sense of reassurance that everything was going to be okay.