The falls are an eye disease that occurs when the lens (natural lens of the eye) is opaque, producing a direct affect on vision .

Most cataracts are related to aging, having a high prevalence in people over 70 years of age. Some people do not have any symptoms, but most are indicated to treat cataras because of their discomfort.

The falls are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 50 years and is the leading cause of blindness in the world, followed by diseases such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

In those over 80 years of age, it can occur in almost half of the population of that age group, either in one eye or in both, since it does not necessarily occur bilaterally and the presence of cataract in one eye is not transmits to the opposing eye.

What is the lens?

The lens is a transparent biconvex lens inside the eye that helps focus light on the retina. The retina is constituted as a light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye. In a normal eye, light passes through the lens to the retina. Upon reaching the retina, the light is converted into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.

Lenses work much like camera lenses, focusing light on the retina for clear vision. They also adjust the focus of the eye, allowing both far and near objects to be seen clearly. The lens has to be transparent so that the retina can receive a clear image.

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens is made up mostly of water and protein. The proteins are organized in a particular way, allowing the passage of light through the lens towards the retina, however, as age advances, some of the proteins can begin to form conglomerates or clusters in such a way that they can alter or modify a small area of ​​the lens, which over the course of the disease can make vision increasingly difficult as these opacities cover more space in the lens.

It is not known with certainty why the lens of the eye changes with age, forming cataracts . However, researchers around the world have managed to identify factors that possibly cause cataracts or that have some association with the development of them.

Risk factor’s

In addition to advanced age, the risk factors for the appearance of cataracts are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, smoking and alcoholic habits, some medications such as statins, hormones and steroids, previous ocular pathologies such as severe myopia, the overexposure to ultraviolet rays and of course the related family history.

How are cataracts classified?

The different types of cataracts can be roughly classified as congenital (by causes before birth or secondary of maternal origin) or acquired when the cause originates after birth.

It can also be classified according to the area of ​​lens involvement, cortical (when opacities begin in the periphery of the lens and extend radially to the center), subcapsular (occurring in the posterior part of the lens, being mostly related to people with diabetes or those who take high doses of steroids) and nuclear cataract which is located in the central area of ​​the lens, being mostly associated with aging.


  • Difficulty for night vision.
  • Cloudy and blurred vision.
  • Vision of halos around the lights.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Decreased perception of colors.

Cataract prevention

Studies support that diets high in vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin are associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing cataracts . The use of sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are also considered.


Cataract should be treated with surgery once it has progressed enough to have severely altered vision. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the affected lens and in most cases replace it with a new prosthetic intraocular lens.

The cataract surgery is very successful in recovering vision. Approximately 90% of patients achieve better vision after surgery.

It may be thought that the loss of vision is an inevitable process of what aging represents, but it is a fact that cataract surgery is currently a simple procedure , practically painless and capable of returning vision, therefore that should be considered prior to adequate ophthalmological evaluation.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *