A common eye condition, cataract is the clouding of the lens that can make vision blurred or impaired. It is the most common cause of blindness in people aged 40 and above. Cataract is of three types, including subcapsular cataract, nuclear cataract and cortical cataract. While subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens and affects people with diabetes, nuclear cataract is found deep in the central zone of the lens and is associated with ageing. A cortical cataract occurs in the lens cortex surrounding the central nucleus.
Symptoms and Causes
The main cause of cataracts is the buildup of protein in the lens, which makes it cloudy and does not allow light from passing through the lens, leading to loss of vision. With the formation of new lens cells on the outside of the lens, taking place of the older cells,which are compacted into the centre, resulting in cataract.
Some signs of cataract include:
- Double vision
- Cloudy, fuzzy vision
- Foggy, filmy vision
- Second sight
- Frequent changes in eyesight
- Problem driving at night because of glare from headlights
Several B vitamin deficiencies may also cause abnormal eye function. Research reveals that those who take regular multivitamin supplementation are less likely to have cataracts. Vitamins A and E and antioxidants are known to neutralize the damaging effects of oxygen and reduce the risk of cataract.