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What is a cataract?

Cataract (Cataracta) is a disorder of the lens, which is most often connected with the natural process of ageing and involves any progressive partial or completed opacity of the lens. The cause of the progressive opacity has not been fully explained yet, although it is known to be connected with the disordered metabolism of the lens. As a result of this the clouded lens prevents the light from getting into the retina, causing the vision to be clouded and blurred and impossible to correct by wearing glasses or contact lenses. The deterioration of sight in the case of opacity affecting the central part of the lens is even quicker than in the case of opacity affecting its peripheral part.

Congenital cataract (cataracta congenita) - may develops as soon as in infancy period, although it can be diagnosed much later. It may be caused by genetic disorders, malnutrition, ionizing radiation, intoxications, the mother’s diseases during pregnancy and metabolism disorders.

Inherited cataract

  • senile cataract - it may start to develop as early as around 40, however, vision usually deteriorates around 60. It constitutes 60% of all cataract cases and is related to the process of ageing
  • secondary cataract - may develop in the course of some diseases (diabetes, tetany, myotonia) or be caused by external factors such as a mechanical or chemical injury, radiation or application of some medicines (e.g. steroids)

In each of cataract cases the blurring of lens is irreversible. The only effective method for cataract treatment is surgical removal of the blurred lens and replacing it with phakic lens. There are pharmaceuticals which may slow down the blurring process, but they will never stop the process.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:24