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Crystalline lens & the Cataract

Written by Abhishek & Moderated by Dr Anuradha Totey

The crystalline lens is the natural lens that humans are born with. The crystalline lens of the eye is like the lens of a camera, in that it focuses light to provide a good vision and distinct detail of an object. The crystalline lens is normally clear and surrounded by a special capsule that holds it in place and helps it change shape to focus on an image.

A cataract is an opacification of the crystalline lens of the eye. A cataract begins when proteins in the eye form cloudiness on the crystalline lens. The entire lens does not need to be cloudy, a cataract can have cloudiness or opacities anywhere in the lens. Most cataracts grow gradually and don't disturb your vision early on. But with time, cataracts will interfere with your vision.

Although cataracts are more common in older persons, people in their thirties or forties can develop cataracts. Some cataracts are associated with eye injuries, intraocular inflammation (Uveitis), acute angle-closure glaucoma, radiation exposure, systemic diseases such as diabetes, or drug-induced (steroids).

Certain behaviours which can put you at a higher risk of getting a cataract.

  • An excess of time in the sun without eye protection

  • High blood sugar

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Overdose of steroids

  • Exposure to the radiation’s

  • Smoking

Symptoms of cataracts:

  • Blurred, dim, or hazy vision

  • Halos at night

  • Light sensitivity

  • The glare of bright light

  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses

  • Fading or yellowing of colours

  • Need for brighter light for reading or near activity

Five myths about cataract

Treatment :

At the point when your prescription glasses can't clear your vision, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Cataracts usually worsen over time, though. A cataract is not reversible, and cataract surgery must be performed. In cataract surgery, the lens inside your eye that has become opaque is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery is not at all painful. Most patients describe a mild impression of pressure around the eye. The recovery time of cataract surgery is short. Any soreness and discomfort should disappear within a couple of days.

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