What is a cataract? Cataract is a clouding condition that develops on the eye lens hence blocking the passage of sufficient light. This may increase the lens power by causing near-sightedness or may reduce the eye perception of colour blue. If left untreated the patient may become totally blind. There are various types of cataract that affect people in Australia every day and they are classified according to the anatomical location, cause and degree of the clouding.

They include: Sub-capsular cataract; this form develops at the back of the eye lens i.e. in the capsule. People who are at a higher risk of developing this type of cataract are diabetic patients and individuals taking high doses of steroids. The nuclear cataract is mainly associated with aging. It occurs at the central zone, basically in the nucleus of the eye lens. The next form is cortical cataract that occurs at the lens cortex. It develops at the periphery of the lens and later spreads to the centre of the lens. Individuals with this form of cataract have white wedge-like opacities at the affected region.

What is a cataract? This is a common question asked by many individuals since this type of eye diseases develops silently and may distort the entire vision system. Other potential factors leading to cataracts include: Aging, age related cataract occurs during the aging process when the lens protein begins to join together and form a clump. This leads to the growth of a cloud around the eye lens. The other causes include: exposure to ionizing radiation such as x-ray and ultraviolet rays, eye surgery, eye injury, disease like diabetes, consumption of medications such as corticosteroids, congenital infections like herpes simplex virus and genetic diseases like Down syndrome and myotonic dystrophy.

The above content should clearly help any Australian to understand and appreciate the need of eye check-ups in order to avoid any chances of contracting cataracts.

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