5 Important Facts About Cataracts | Health Plus

1. Cataract is the most common cause of blindness in the world

In fact, there are more cases of cataract worldwide than there are other serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined.

In Singapore, cataract affects around 80% of people over the age of 60 years and 95% of people over the age of 70 years.

If you are experiencing cloudy or blurry vision, and suspect you may have a cataract, consult an eye specialist.

2. Cataract symptoms get progressively worse

You might not know you have a cataract straight away. The first symptom is usually blurriness or cloudiness, making everything you look at appear slightly hazy.

With cataract, blurriness will generally get worse over time. The cataract may develop a brownish or yellowish tinge that makes it harder to see, especially at night. You may develop sensitivity to bright lights. Some people also see halos (rings of coloured light) around bright lights, which can make certain activities, like driving at night, really difficult. Other possible symptoms include double vision. Eventually, cataract can lead to blindness.

It’s easy to dismiss some of the earlier symptoms of cataract as just needing a new pair of reading glasses. That’s why it’s so important to visit your eye doctor if you notice any changes in your eyesight.

3. You can develop cataract at any age

Cataracts can develop in any age
We typically associate cataract with ageing. While growing old is certainly a risk factor, you can actually develop cataract at any age. Other risk factors include high myopia, history of eye trauma, diabetes, long-term use of steroid medications, smoking, obesity, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure and too much sun exposure. And if you have a family history of cataract, you may also be at risk.

Going for regular eye screening will help to rule out cataract and other potentially serious eye conditions early enough to minimise the long-term impact on your vision.

4. Your risk of cataract increases if you have diabetes

Diabetes increase risk of developing cataracts
Doctors still aren’t sure why, but the fact is that diabetes increases your risk of cataract. The statistics don’t lie: people with diabetes have a 60% higher risk of developing the condition.

Managing your blood sugar levels will go some way towards reducing your risk, but you should also remember to schedule regular eye appointments so you can stay on top of your eye health.

5. Cataract is effectively and safely treated with surgery

While you can manage the symptoms of mild cataract with stronger eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses, the definitive treatment is surgery. Modern cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure with an average of 25,000 cases performed annually in Singapore.

In most cases of cataract surgery, sedation is usually given to make you more relaxed. Either numbing eye drops or injection will be given so that you can’t feel anything. Your doctor will gently break up the cataract using ultrasound and sometimes laser before suctioning it out and thereafter implanting new artificial lens.

You’ll be given medicated eye drops to help with the healing and prevent infection. Depending on the surgical technique used, your eye will usually fully heal after 1 – 2 months.

Recent innovations have led to the development of a variety of lens implant designs, each with its own unique features and benefits. Advanced implants such as multifocal (trifocal) and extended range of focus lenses can correct short or long-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia all at one go. These types of lenses allow patients to achieve a high degree of spectacle independence.

Take steps to prolong your healthy eyesight!

Prolong healthy eyesight with these foods
Research has shown that eating foods high in antioxidants could help to prolong your eyesight. You should make sure you’re getting lots of vitamin C and vitamin E. Try to eat more:

  • Citrus fruits (eg. oranges, grapefruits)
  • Red and green peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Spinach
  • Nuts

Smokers are also at risk of developing cataracts later in life. Quitting smoking isn’t just good for your lungs and heart – it’s good for your eyes, too.

Remember to wear sunglasses when you’re outside (ones that block UV rays and screen out at least 75% of visible light) as UV light can damage your eyes. Most importantly, have your eyes checked regularly to ensure they stay in tip-top health!

If you need more information on cataract and treatment options, consult an eye specialist.

 

Article reviewed by Dr Chua Wei Han, ophthalmologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital

References

Bailey, Gretchyn. (2018, May 14). Cataracts. Retrieved 30 May 2018 from https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm

Cataracts and Diabetes. (n.d.). Retrieved 30 May 2018 from https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-complications/cataracts.html

Celojevic, D. & Zetterberg, M. (2015). Gender and Cataract – the Role of Estrogen. Current Eye Research 40 (2).

Delgado, A. & Nelson, J. (2016, February 12). Cataract. Retrieved 30 May 2018 from https://www.healthline.com/health/cataract

Poon Chian Hui. (2013, May 11). New Cataract Surgery Cuts Blindness Risk. Retrieved 30 May 2018 from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/new-cataract-surgery-cuts-blindn…

What to Expect from Cataract Surgery. (n.d.). Retrieved 30 May 2018 from https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/what-to-expect-from-cataract…

Zetterberg, M. (2016). Age-related Eye Disease and Gender. Maturitas 83.

More about

Health Plus
Purchase this article for republication.

VIDEOS YOU SHOULD WATCH

  • #Joeyjios: We try bubble tea mala hotpot and bubble tea toast

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/food/we-try-bubble-tea-mala-hotpot-and-bubble-tea-toast-guess-which-ones-got-us-hooked Mala and bubble milk tea within the same hotpot? What about bubble tea on toast? Who even comes up with these ideas?! This week on #Joeyjios, we give these dubious food creations a taste-test to see if they're worth your time, money and calories. #bubbletea #bbt #boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Thirstdays: Where we talk weird dates and wild fantasies

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/thirstdays-where-we-talk-weird-dates-and-wild-fantasies Ooo, it's been a hot week and the thirst is real at AsiaOne. Join Le En and Bryan as they chat about weird dates, constant 'cravings', and Beyonce's thigh gap! And they are quenching that thirst with a cup of root beer float to celebrate the return of a certain fast food restaurant. Thirstdays is a fortnightly AsiaOne #entertainment series where our hosts Le En and Bryan give you a peek into their personal lives while they satisfy their thirst over a drink, have a no-holds-barred chat, and do fun things. #gossip #confessions #realness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep4: He beats people up, but for the country

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-delinquent-national-wrestler He used to beat people up, simply because he had "too much energy" to expend. Now, he still beats people up - but for the country. Meet 24-year-old #Singapore national wrestler Toh Xin Ran. Seeing the number of medals that he has been awarded and the respectful manner in which he now interacts with his wrestling coach, it is hard to imagine that Xin Ran used to be a troubled kid in his younger days. #wrestling #sportsman --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: Taste-testing The Alley Luxe and CHICHA San Chen

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/food/alley-luxe-and-chicha-san-chen-opens-week-heres-what-try A Michelin-standard bubble tea for $4.70? A drink that looks like the Northern Lights? This week, #Joeyjios her colleague Le En to check out two new bubble tea (BBT) stores that are opening along Orchard Road. Which will they prefer? Watch to find out. #Thedeerishere #TheAlley #Chichasanchen #Boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 5: Bosses and Things

    It’s been a few weeks - let’s find out if the higher-ups of AsiaOne have any regrets about hiring Le En. Efforts were made to make nice, charity is involved and work is never-ending still. Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: DIY your way into mum's heart this Mother's Day

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/women/joeyjios-diy-your-way-mums-heart-mothers-day Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Have you gotten mum a gift yet? This week on #Joeyjios, Joey tries her hand at DIY projects that’s thoughtful, useful and inexpensive. #Mothersday #DIY --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep3: He 'sees' the world with the help of tech

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-he-may-be-blind-he-can-text-faster-you Edwin Khoo, 43, surprises friends with the speed at which he types on his phone. The reason? He's been blind since birth. But #technology has been the game-changer for Edwin in navigating the world around him despite his #disability, allowing him to #travel and even host his own online #podcast. --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 4: The Dress Code

    It’s in the employee handbook - but does ANYONE actually read and follow the dress code? Are calves too scandalous? Le En puts on Athleisure and tries to get away with it! Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Caryn Cheng finds the best deals at IMM's Greater Savings Home and Furnishing Sale

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/5-couples-share-most-expensive-items-they-have-ever-bought-their-home AsiaOne challenges Caryn Cheng to find the best deals at the upcoming #IMM Greater Savings Home and Furnishing #Sale. IMM's Greater Savings Home & Furnishing Sale will start May 13 to 19. With 20 per cent off storewide at Best Denki and discounts of up to 50 per cent at stores such as INKAGU Outlet by Picket & Rail, Linen Gallery Outlet and Red Apple from May 17 to 19, this epic sale is not to be missed. Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601 Opening hours: 10am to 10pm #brandedcontent --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: I try a ballet-inspired workout despite my two left feet

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/joeyjios-i-try-ballet-inspired-workout-despite-my-two-left-feet Tendu, Arabesque and Grand Pliés? This week on #Joeyjios, I found out that these are in fact, not edible food dishes, but dance moves in ballet.  Watch as former professional ballerinas and co-founders of #BalletBody, Lisha Chin and Alison Carroll, take me through a snippet of their hour-long ballet-inspired workout while I try my best to keep up.  #Ballet #Barre #Fitness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com

SERVICES