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June is cataract awareness month so here are some things to know about cataract. A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. Seeing through the lens would be as though one is looking through a foggy window. This sort of vision makes it difficult to read, drive or see changing expressions on other people’s faces.

Most cataracts do not disturb the eyesight on time because they develop slowly. At first, it only affects a small part of the eye’s lens. As it grows it clouds more if the lens and distorts the passage of light through the lens and may lead to more noticeable symptoms.

With time, the cataract eventually impairs the vision. In the early stages, eyeglasses and stronger lighting can help deal with this challenge, but over time patients might need surgery. This is a safe and effective procedure.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing ‘halos’ around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colours
  • Double vision in a single eye
  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Poor night vision
  • Colour vision changes

CATARACT PREVENTION

Studies suggest that nutrients and nutritional supplements can help reduce one’s risk of cataracts. Below are some food sources that can significantly decrease the risks of cataract:

  • A higher dietary intake of vitamin E and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin from food and supplements.
  • Good food sources of vitamin E (such as sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach).
  • Good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin (such as spinach, kale and other green, leafy vegetables).
  • Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Wearing sunglasses that prevent 100%of the sun’s ultraviolet rays when outdoors can also help reduce the risk of cataracts.

Contact us for more information and cataract diagnosis, treatment and surgery.