Common Eye Disorders and Diseases
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens and is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Cataracts can occur at any age because of a variety of causes and can be present at birth. Although treatment for the removal of cataracts is widely available, access barriers such as insurance coverage, treatment costs, patient choice, or lack of awareness prevent many people from receiving the proper treatment.
An estimated 20.5 million (17.2%) Americans aged 40 years and older have cataracts in one or both eyes, and 6.1 million (5.1%) have had their lens removed operatively. The total number of people who have cataracts is estimated to increase to 30.1 million by 2020.
The good news is that surgery can get rid of cataracts. Cataract surgery is safe and corrects vision problems caused by cataracts. But you can AVOID it!
What are the types of cataracts?
Most cataracts are age-related — they happen because of normal changes in your eyes as you get older. But you can get cataracts for other reasons — for example, after an eye injury or after surgery for another eye problem (like glaucoma).
Did you know?
You can get cataracts in one eye or both eyes — but they can’t spread from one eye to the other.
By age 80, most people either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations in the United States.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
You might not have any symptoms at first when cataracts are mild. But as cataracts grow, they can cause changes in your vision. For example, you may notice that:
- Your vision is cloudy or blurry
- Colors look faded
- You can’t see well at night
- Lamps, sunlight, or headlights seem too bright
- You see a halo around the lights
- You see double (this sometimes goes away as the cataract gets bigger)
- You have to change the prescription for your glasses often
These symptoms can be a sign of other eye problems, too. Be sure to talk to your eye doctor if you have any of these problems.
Over time, cataracts can lead to vision loss.
Am I at risk for cataracts?
Your risk for cataracts goes up as you get older. You’re also at higher risk if you:
- Have certain health problems, like diabetes
- Drink too much alcohol
- Have a family history of cataracts
- Have had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatment on your upper body
- Have spent a lot of time in the sun
- Take steroids (medicines used to treat a variety of health problems, like arthritis and rashes)
If you’re worried you might be at risk for cataracts, talk with your doctor. Ask if there is anything you can do to lower your risk.
What causes cataracts?
Most cataracts are caused by normal changes in your eyes as you get older.
When you’re young, the lens in your eye is clear. Around age 40, the proteins in the lens of your eye start to break down and clump together. This clump makes a cloudy area on your lens — or a cataract. Over time, the cataract gets more severe and clouds more of the lens.
How can I prevent cataracts?
- Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block the sun.
- Quit smoking. If you’re ready to quit.
- Eat healthily. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables — especially dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.
- Get a dilated eye exam. If you’re age 60 or older, get a dilated eye exam at least once every 2 years.
Infection of the eye can result in conjunctivitis, keratitis, endophthalmitis, and other infections that are responsible for increased incidences of morbidity and blindness worldwide. These infections are common occurrences in the tropics and in resource-poor countries as a result of poor hygiene and environmental contaminants. Furthermore, the problems of resistance, adverse responses, and the high cost of established antibiotic compounds have given rise to the search for new anti-infective agents from natural sources for better therapeutic effects.
The antimicrobial activity of SBH has been attributed to several properties of honey, including its osmotic effect and acidity as well as its inclusion of hydrogen peroxide, phytochemical factors, and several tetracycline derivatives.