Cataracts are a major health care issue among the elderly population. Here, one among three persons has some form of vision loss or eye disease even before they are 65. The most common causes of vision loss for the ageing people are age-related eye diseases such as cataract, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Cataracts and Vision loss facts
A cataract is a common symptom of vision damage in the elderly. Many times surgery is effective in bringing back their vision. Diabetic retinopathy can be observed in the elderly during the time of diagnosis. At times, during the initial stages of diabetes as well. If diagnosed with diabetes, patients must undergo eye screening with dilation and must continue thereafter every year.
Also, many define age-related macular degeneration as the loss of central vision. Primary open-angle glaucoma leads to optic nerve damage and loss of the visual field. Regular screening tests for elderly patients is mandatory, as this condition could initially be asymptomatic.
Vision impairment is a reduced ability to perform daily activities. It also can bring an increased risk of depression. Some of the most common causes for the vision impairment in the elderly like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or cataract have some of the following symptoms as explained here.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataract, one of the most common causes of vision impairment in the elderly, is also the most common cause of blindness worldwide. In affluent nations such as the United States where cataract surgery is readily available, the potentially blinding effect owing to cataract can be dramatically abridged among the elderly. Not only cataract surgery was readily accessible here, but it is also an effective and safe procedure. It is also a well-established fact that cataract increases with age. Further, exposure to ultraviolet light may also add to the progress of cataract formation.
The global definition of cataract is difficult to find. However, it refers to the lens capacities that obstruct or interfere with the vision function. Blurred vision or glare can be some of the common complaints about patients with visually significant cataracts. Though cataract progression is normally slow, it can still gradually lead to a loss of vision in a few year spans. Yet there are certain cataracts that can progress more rapidly as well.
Cataract surgeries are the most common surgical procedures performed for millions of patients every year. Get this surgery when cataract advances to a level where it begins to interfere with your daily activities. Of course, the mere presence of lens opacities cannot lead to visual function. Hence, it does not call for surgery in most cases. Cataract surgery is always under local or topical anaesthesia as it is an outpatient procedure.
It is important to remember that the issues with cataract surgery are less than one percent and are unusual. At the most there could be some potentially grave issues like glaucoma, infection, bleeding, retinal detachment, vitreous loss and even loss of vision.