Cataracts Causes And Treatments - A&P - Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

Running head: Cataracts 1
Cataracts 8
Deborah Wilcox
Anatomy & Physiology
Chapter 26
Ms. Sledge
September 18, 2018
The eyes are the most amazing, intricate organs of the human body that serve us solely for vision. They are uniquely designed is to help capture beautiful three dimensional, moving images, via rod and cone cells in the retina; a process which allows light perceptions and vision including color differentiation, perception, and depth. While there are various eye disorders associated with the eye, one of the most common disorders is cataracts. Cataracts form hindrances with vision which lead can to serious eye problems, including blindness.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, caused by the clumping of proteins that causes indistinctness and cloudiness, resulting in vision problems that is unclear, and producing distorted images within the eye. Cataracts are typically related to aging, therefore are commonly more prevalent among the geriatric population. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the number of incidences of cataracts In the United States affects more than 24.4 million Americans are aged 40 years and older ("Eye Health Statistics", 2018).
Cataracts vary in severity. Some are small and have no effect on vision, Whereas, others grow and become larger over time, causing strain in an individual’s vision. Several reasons for the development of various cataracts may be linked to radiation or ultraviolet exposure, health related diseases/lifestyles, congenital disease, or simply aging (Cataracts, 2018).
Different types of cataracts include Congenital, Secondary, Radiation, and Traumatic. Congenital cataracts present at birth or can develop during childhood. Nearly 1 out of 5,000 infants are subject to congenital cataracts. Often, cataracts found in children are minute and can affect one or both eyes. With successful treatment of congenital cataracts, near-normal vision can be achieved no little risks of complication Secondary cataracts can result from surgery, prolonged exposure to sunlight, health related problems, or drug use. Health issues and drugs include diabetes, hypertension, drinking alcohol, and smoking. Radiation cataracts develop after the eyes have been exposed to any type of radiation. Lastly, traumatic cataracts may progress from an eye injury or damage (Gupta, Rajagopala, & Ravishankar, 2014).
Symptoms associated with cataracts can severely impair an individual’s function of daily living. For those living with cataracts, may experience vision involving blurriness, dullness, color fading vision, glare, poor night vision, double vision, or having to make frequent adjustment their eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions. Depending on the individual, difficulties may also include other activities such as driving (due to glare of oncoming lights), reading, recognizing faces, cooking, using a computer, or viewing television (“Night Vision Problem”, 2016). Studies have also shown that the geriatric population is more likely to develop depression when suffering from vision loss (Senra, et al., 2015).
Treatment for cataracts are tested through a variety of comprehensive exams, but the key to early detection involves regular eye exams. Testing includes visual acuity tests, dilated eye exams, or a tonometry. The visual acuity test measures how well an individual perceives at different distances. A dilated eye test allows the physician to observe the patient’s retina for signs of damage or injury. To dilate the eyes, drops are given to dilate the pupils. Tonometry is an instrument used to measure pressure inside the eyeball (Turner, 2018).
Early detection of cataracts can be improved with anti-glare sunglasses, a change in eyeglass prescriptions, or use of brighter lighting in the individual’s environment. If these treatments are ineffective, surgery is another alternative. In the United States, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgeries in adults who are older than 65 years in age. Individuals who require cataract surgery typically have other eye conditions as well. Other conditions can include glaucoma or macular degeneration. Typically, during cataract surgery, the abnormal lens is replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens. Types of cataract surgery include Extracapsular and Phacoemulsification. In Extracapsular surgery, the surgeon will create a long incision on one side of the cornea and removes the cloudy portion of the lens. The remainder lens is removed through suction. Phacoemulsification, which is the most common form of cataract surgery, entails a small incision is made on the side of the cornea and a probe is inserted that allows ultrasound waves to disintegrate the lens; thereafter, the lens is removed by suction. Like most surgeries, some risks are involved. The risks of cataract surgery are rare, but may involve retinal detachment, bleeding, vision loss, or infection (Vora, Colby, &, 2012).
Cataracts remains the most common cause of vision loss in the United States and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Loss of vision can be extremely frightening for anyone; therefore, it is pertinent to make proactive choices concerning eye care. With yearly eye exams, and seeking available treatments for this preventable condition, one may perhaps prevent unforeseeable blindness.
Cataracts – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. (2018). Retrieved September 13,
2018, from
Eye Health Statistics. (2018). Retrieved September 15, 2018, from
Gupta, V., Rajagopala, M., & Ravishankar, B. (2014). Etiopathogenesis of cataract: An appraisal.
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 62(2), 103. doi:10.4103/0301-4738.121141
Night Vision Problem. (2016, January02). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from
Senra, H., Barbosa, F., Ferreira, P., Vieira, C. R., Perrin, P. B., Rogers, H., …Leal, I. (2015).
Psychologic Adjustment to Irreversible Vision Loss in Adults. Ophthalmology, 122(4),
851- 861.doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.10.022
Turner, T.D., MD. (2018). How Is a Cataract Diagnosed? Retrieved September 14, 2018, from
Vora, G.K., & Colby, K. A. (2012). The Risks and Benefits of Cataract Surgery. European
Ophthalmic Review, 06(04), 214. Doi:10.17925/eor.2012.06.04.214
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