Want to know the various reasons you could get a cataract? Below are 5 most common causes of cataract.
1. Age related Cataract
The most common type of cataract is age related, that is, it is a part of body’s ageing process. It is also known as “senile cataract”.
Patients start experience symptoms of cataract as the naturally clear lens becomes cloudy gradually. Most patients of this type of cataract are above the age of 50 years.
The treatment for age related cataract is surgery.
2. Childhood Cataract
Don’t be surprised! Cataracts occur in children too!
Some children are born with a cataract. This type of cataract is called “congenital cataract”.
Some children develop a cataract in their growing years. This type of cataract is referred to as “developmental cataract.”
A child who is old enough to speak will complain difficulty in seeing. The child may fail to notice objects around them or may bump into obstacles. In younger children, parents or the treating doctor may notice a whitish opacity in the child’s pupil.
Sometimes a squint develops in a child who has cataract. Surgery should be done as early as possible, so that the child’s vision develops normally.
I will be writing another blog, describing in detail about several vision problems in children.
3. Steroid Induced Cataract
Steroids are powerful medications that are extremely helpful and provide dramatic relief in treating certain diseases. However, they are known to cause equally dramatic side-effects if misused or overused.
One of the most common side effect of long term steroid use is cataract. Patients with steroid induced cataract are often young people, who have been taking steroid based medicines for a long time.
Stopping intake of steroid does not reverse the cataract. Once a steroid induced cataract develops, it has to be removed surgically.
4. Traumatic Cataract
Any direct injury to your eye could result in cataract formation.
The injury could result from a road traffic accident, falls, being hit by a blunt object such as a cricket or tennis ball, or often due to firecrackers during Diwali.
If you have a history or any kind of eye injury, you may need a regular follow up with your eye doctor to check for development of cataract. If a cataract develops, it needs to be removed surgically.
5. Complicated Cataract
This type of cataract forms as a result from a underlying eye disease such as uveitis, secondary glaucoma or diabetes mellitus.
Along with the usual symptoms of cataract, these patients also experience symptoms of the underlying disease, such as, pain, redness and watering from the eyes.
Complicated cataract also needs to be removed by surgery, but your eye doctor will ensure that the underlying condition will be treated first, before the surgery.
The types listed above are the most common types. There are few other types of cataract such as metabolic cataract, electric cataract, radiation induced cataract. These types are relatively rare.
The treatment for all kinds of cataract is surgery. I will be discussing the details of cataract surgeries in my upcoming blogs.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care of your eyes and stay healthy!