Cataracts : symptoms, causes and treatment
5 truths about waterfalls
Cataracts , yes, this eye condition is common after age 65 and, yes, it is easy to treat, but that shouldn't stop you from opening your eye and doing the right thing to avoid it! On the occasion of World Sight Day, October 12, we take stock.
Although UV rays are dangerous to the skin, they can also damage the eyes and promote cataracts.
UV waves lead to the formation of free radicals that can attack the proteins of the crystalline lens, which ensure the transparency of the lens.
When these macromolecules are attacked, they agglomerate abnormally and lead to their opacification. "Therefore, it is particularly important to protect yourself from this invisible radiation by using UV-filtering lenses. The choice is made according to the exposure conditions, from 1 (moderate) to 4 (exceptional)," explains Dr. Dominique Pietrini, doctor of ophthalmology.
Without surgery, it is getting worse over time.
The alteration of the crystalline lens that characterizes the waterfall is indeed of an evolutionary nature. Its symptoms are, firstly, a loss of vision, especially at a distance, and a fading of colors, and then photophobia, that is, an exaggerated sensitivity to light that makes it difficult to drive at night, for example.
Without treatment, opacification continues and can lead to total blindness. "The moment of the operation must be decided jointly by the physician and the patient, depending on the opacity," explains Dr. Pietrini.
There is a link between sugars and waterfalls...
Cataract is one of the complications of diabetes. Therefore, people who suffer from this disorder are at greater risk of developing the disease at an early age.
However, recent scientific research shows that this potential is also greater in non-diabetics who have excessive consumption of sugary foods. "Their absorption leads to 'glycation' reactions that contribute to the development of the cataract," says the specialist.
The operation also treats presbyopia
Cataract surgery consists of making an incision in the cornea under anesthesia to remove the core of the defective lens and replace it with a soft implant.
"This "lens" that is inserted can, if it is multifocal, also correct presbyopia as well as myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia, and then dispense the use of glasses, emphasizes our expert.
However, this type of device is not suitable for all patients, especially those with very strong astigmatism. This option should be discussed with your ophthalmologist, who will evaluate your situation.
We are giving you back your sight very quickly.
After the operation, everything returns to normal in a few days. Unless you suffer from conditions associated with the cataract, for example if your optic nerve is affected by glaucoma or if your central retina is affected by macular degeneration.
"The recently developed micro-incision techniques allow very fast visual rehabilitation and return to normal activities after 24 to 48 hours," concludes Dr. Pietrini. However, healing time may vary from one individual to another.
Cataract: the right foods to protect my eyes
Citrus fruits, peppers, carrots... A new study reaffirms the benefits of certain foods in limiting or even delaying the development of cataracts. We take stock of the situation.
Healthy eyes also require proper nutrition! Previous studies have already shown that the development of cataracts, this clouding of the lens that leads to progressive vision loss (affecting more than one in five people over the age of 65), is mainly due to environmental factors. And diet would be at the top of the list.
If vitamin C has been recognized several times as a super-protector against cataract, a new study* from the University of South Australia provides some clarification:
By performing a meta-analysis of twenty different studies, researchers observed that most vitamins (especially vitamins A, C, and E) and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) were associated with a reduction in cataract risk.
In contrast, there were no differences between people receiving vitamin E or beta-carotene supplements and those receiving a placebo.
This supports the fact that nutrients in food provide benefits that dietary supplements do not.
So, what foods should I choose to protect my eyes? According to the results of this new study, as well as of previous works, citrus fruits, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale...) are the best foods to delay the appearance of cataracts.
"Age-related cataracts are the leading cause of visual impairment among the world's elderly, and unoperated cataracts contribute to 35% of all blindness," says Ming Li, the study's lead author.
That's why it's so important to focus on prevention, which includes not only diet, but also not smoking and protecting your eyes from the sun.