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A Closer Look At Cataracts

A Closer Look At Cataracts

Advisory by Marcus Heng, Guardian Pharmacist

What are cataracts?
Cataracts refer to a progressive and painless clouding of the eye lens. It is a major cause of blindness, affecting one or both eyes. The condition may not be apparent initially, but as it progresses, vision can get foggy with halos and yellow tinting. Near-sightedness usually accompanies cataract formation which may result in frequent prescription glasses changes.

What factors contribute to the development of cataracts?
Ageing is the predominant factor responsible for the development and progression of cataracts although other factors like sunlight exposure, smoking, eye trauma, long term oral steroid use and diabetes have been suggested to play significant roles too.

How are cataracts managed?
Eye drops for cataracts may help reduce cataract progression while changing glasses and brightening living environments can reduce symptoms temporarily. In advanced stages however, surgical replacement of the lens via phacoemulsification would be the ideal option to restore visual acuity.

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