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What are cataracts and why do we get them?

By November 22, 2008 - 5:39am
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What are cataracts? It seems a fairly common issue in people, especially as they get older. I know cataracts are in the eyes but they are one of these conditions in people that I hear about all the time but don't quite know what they are.


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EmpowHER Guest

Excessive long-term exposure to sunlight and exposure to heavy doses of radiation, as in cancer therapy can also result in a cataract.
Causes of Cataracts

March 2, 2011 - 11:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

One other thing to note about Cataract Surgery is the various lenses used to replace the one taken out during the surgery. They are called intra-ocular lenses (IOL's for short).

I know that in the past people needed glasses after cataract surgery but now some of the newer lenses can correct that (they say...)


March 27, 2009 - 8:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

Anabolic steroids are a different kind of steroids and they aren't a hazard to health as long as you have a doctor that keeps you under close supervision.

March 12, 2009 - 12:29am

Thanks Melissa.

I have a older relative who has had eye problems for nearly a year now and is facing surgery soon. It seems to be fairly simple surgery so hopefully thing will be fine.

Thank you for all that information. Yet another age-related health issue, eh? Sometimes it seems to me that for all the wisdom we (supposedly!) gain with age, it gets circumvented with so many health problems related to us getting old.

November 22, 2008 - 12:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

Cataract is a clouding that develops in the lens of the eye and it obstructs the passage of light into the eye. It affects the eye and is mainly related to age. It is common in older people. It can occur in one or both eyes.

The National Eye Institute provides information on different kinds of cataract as follows:

1)Secondary cataract. Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma. Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems, such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use.
2)Traumatic cataract. Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
3)Congenital cataract. Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes. These cataracts may be so small that they do not affect vision. If they do, the lenses may need to be removed.
4)Radiation cataract. Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.

The cause of cataract is actually the lens of the eye contains water and protein that clumps together with age and causes a reduction in the sharpness of the images that we see.

The Mayo clinic provides symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatments and drug information that can be found here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cataracts/DS00050.

Surgery is usually the main solution to advanced cataract and only takes approximately 30 minutes. It is called phacoemulsification. E Medicine Health provides the procedure as a procedure that the lens clouded by a cataract is broken up by ultrasound, irrigated, and suctioned out. Most cataract surgery today is performed using phacoemulsification. Before the advent of this technique, people with cataracts could expect a 10-day hospital stay followed by a lengthy recovery. Today, it is an outpatient procedure. Instead of making a large incision in the eye and removing the lens, the ophthalmologist can make a tiny one and then insert an ultrasonic tip which, vibrating thousands of times a second, breaks up the cataracts without damaging the surrounding tissue. The remains of the cataract are suctioned out.
The remains of the cataract are suctioned out.

Do you know of someone that is getting surgery?

November 22, 2008 - 9:34am
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