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Nearly half of people aged 75 and over have cataracts. In most cases, this age-related vision problem can be surgically corrected.
Cataracts can occur in people as early as age 50 and are characterized by a clouding of the lens. Located in the eyeball, behind the iris, the lens is the part of the eye that filters light. In fact, it works much like a camera lens. When this lens begins to lose its transparency, vision therefore becomes cloudy, blurry and gradually impaired. Details become more difficult to make out. Colours can also appear faded and images may seem distorted. The person with cataracts may have the impression of always looking through a dirty window or a waterfall. This gradual loss of vision is not painful, however.
There are many types of cataracts, some of which can be congenital, others caused by a trauma to the eye (i.e. an eye injury). But most cases occur as part of the normal aging process. They are called “senile cataracts.”
Aging is one of the main causes of senile cataracts, but there are also a number of other risk factors involved, including:
The primary prevention measures involve controlling the various factors above. Here are a few practical ways that can help to reduce the risk of developing cataracts or at least slow their progression:
Surgery is the only available treatment for cataracts. Cataract surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens with a clear plastic lens. The operation is done on one eye at a time.
The surgery is generally performed under local anesthetic and takes 30 to 60 minutes. In 90 percent of cases, it will lead to a marked improvement in vision. After the operation, some people may go through an adjustment period that can last a few weeks. During this time, images and colours may appear brighter and more intense than before, causing some pain.
If you notice that your vision is decreasing, even with stronger glasses, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or an ophthalmologist. If you have developed cataracts, he will determine whether treatment is needed in the short, medium or long term, based on your lifestyle and the evolution of the condition.
If you have additional questions about cataracts and their treatment, talk to your pharmacist. He can help!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.