What Is A Cataract?

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A cataract is a condition in which the transparent lens becomes progressively opaque due to varying circumstances such as genetics, environment, and diet, amongst many other variables. Regardless of the pathogenesis from which the cataract developed, a reduction in visual performance and thus, visual acuity is exhibited. In order for the visual acuities to be enhanced again, the cataract needs to be removed. An ophthalmologist will remove it and replace the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery has shown to be one of the safest and most effective type of surgery in which patients report having better vision in a matter of a few days. Briefly, cataracts are cloudy areas that form in the lens that make it difficult…show more content…
Retinal illuminance is a key factor in the sharpness of someone’s vision and in turn, their visual acuities. If not enough light is reaching the retina, the human brain cannot distinguish between certain details in a word, much less a letter. The cataract, depending on where it is located in the lens, causes light to bend around it in an effort to reach the retina with full illuminance. This allows the light to reach the photoreceptors of the retina, which can then be transduced into a chemical signal that follows its pathway to eventually, the visual cortex. This results in an image perceived by the brain. However, if the cataract is big enough, it can prevent the light from reaching the photoreceptors and disrupting the whole process of the visual system. Therefore, it is imperative that the lens be free of noise in an effort to transduce as much light as possible to the retina. This means removing the cataract, thereby increasing a person’s visual acuity.
In conclusion, cataracts not only affect visual acuity and contrast sensitivity, it affects the quality of life for those that have the condition. It is important to detect, monitor, and treat cataracts if it becomes an issue in performing everyday tasks such as reading, driving, and detailed work at near. By completely removing cataracts or replacing the lens, patients are better able to improve their visual acuities and perform such tasks. Removing cataracts at an earlier age can also have long lasting effects on visual performance and quality of life in their
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