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A cataract happens when the lens of the eye becomes clouded. The lens hides behind the iris and the pupil and is responsible for clear vision. It focuses light upon the retina at the back of the eye. It lets us see things both far away and close. The lens is normally completely clear so that the full light can pass through it.

As we get older, some of the proteins can clump together so that there is a cloud an area of the lens. The amount of clouding gets worse over time so you have increasing problems seeing. There are three types of cataracts. The first is a subcapsular cataract, which begins at the back portion of the lens. It is common in diabetics or in people who have the eye diseases of farsightedness and retinitis pigmentosa or in those taking high doses of steroids. In a nuclear cataract, the cataract forms in the central part of the lens and is a natural part of ageing. A cortical cataract, forms in the cortex of the lens and spreads out in spokes from the outside to the middle of the cataract. It is more common in diabetics. Cataracts begin small and enlarge over time.

The fist symptom of cataracts is hazy or blurry vision. Light from a lamp or from the sun may seem too glaring to tolerate. You may notice when you drive at night that there is more glare from the lights of oncoming headlights. Colours may seem muted. If you have a nuclear cataract, you can have a temporary improvement in nearsightedness, a condition called "second sight". This tends to pass after the cataract gets worse. There may be no particular symptoms in a subcapsular cataract until it is severe.

No one knows why the eye forms a cataract but they are having increasing luck determining the underlying factors that may cause cataracts. Exposure to UV light is believed to be a risk factor so you need to wear sunglasses during the day and wear a wide brimmed hat. Cataracts can form due to other forms of radiation to the head. For example, airline pilots are at higher risk due to exposure to cosmic radiation. Diabetics are at higher risk for developing a cataract of some type. Steroid use, major tranquiliser use and diuretic use mean you have a higher risk of developing cataracts.

A diet high in antioxidants is believed to stave off cataracts. Eating lots of salt, on the other hand, may make cataracts worse. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption to a heavy degree and air pollution may also contribute to cataract formation. Lead exposure may be related to the formation of cataracts as well. Hormone replacement therapy may or may not increase the risk of cataracts. HRT plus alcohol use increased the risk of cataracts by 42 percent when compared to women who had none of the two risk factors.

The treatment of cataracts begins with wearing strong bifocals to magnify things and make you see well. Reading under appropriate lighting makes a difference as well. When the cataracts have spread to involve most of the lens or affect the central vision, you need to have to consider surgery to correct cataracts. Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that is done under local anaesthesia. There are more than three million cataract surgeries per year and it is the most frequently performed surgery in the US. Nine out of ten people who have this type of surgery have very good vision after the procedure is performed.

The surgery involves intraocular lens implant, removing the damaged lens and replacing it with a new lens from a donor or made from plastic. The new lenses can correct nearsightedness as well as fix the lens that has been damaged by cataract formation. There is another type of intraocular lens that can protect the eye from UV and blue light damage so the retina is protected as well. Certain prostate drugs should be avoided when you have a lens transplant because they make the iris too floppy during the procedure.

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Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our cataract surgery solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don�t win then you don�t pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a cataract surgery solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.