Of the 2 million Indonesians, 1.5 percent suffer from cataracts, and more than 50 percent of these cases of cataract cause blindness. Indonesia ranks second with the highest blindness cases after Eutopia and ranks first in Southeast Asia.
Anyone can have cataract eyes, because the biggest risk factor is age. Cataract eyes can make it difficult for you to interact with other people because it will be difficult for you to read their facial expressions. What's more, foggy eyes due to cataracts can make it difficult for you to read or drive a car, especially at night.
What are the causes of cataract eyes?
Most causes of cataracts are caused by an aging process that causes changes in the lens of the eye so that it becomes cloudy or opaque. But you don't need to be an elderly person to get cataracts. In fact, you can start developing cataracts in your 40-50s. But during middle age, most cataracts are mild and don't really affect how you look. Only after you turn 60, do cataracts cause serious vision problems.
A number of other factors can contribute to your risk of having cataracts, including:
- History of eye inflammation, such as glaucoma
- History of eye injury
- Diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cataracts
- Medicine. Certain drugs are known to increase your risk of cataracts, such as corticostreoid, chlorpromazine, and other phenothiazine drugs.
- UV radiation. Studies show an opportunity to increase cataract formation by being exposed to long-term exposure to bright sunlight.
- The habit of drinking alcohol. Some studies show an increased risk of eye cataracts in people who consume alcohol in higher doses, than people who are less or never drink alcohol at all
- Malnutrition. Although the findings cannot be ascertained. Studies show an association between the risk of having cataract eyes with low levels of antioxidants in the body (for example, vitamins C and E, and carotenoids).
Cataract eyes rarely occur at birth or in early childhood, although this visual impairment can be inherited or developed as a result of infection in pregnant women - such as rubella.
How are cataract eyes formed?
Cataracts appear in the lens of the eye, clear transparent colored crystal structures that are directly behind the pupil. This one eye structure works like a camera lens by focusing light on the retina behind the eye, where the image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the focus of the eye, which allows us to see things clearly both near and far.
Lenses are made of water and protein. This protein is arranged in such a way as to make the brightly colored eyepiece clear to allow light to pass through it. But with age, a number of proteins can clot and begin to form cloudy clouds that cover the lens. This prevents light from entering the eye, and also reduces the sharpness of the image we see. Over time, the protein mist can expand to cover most of the lens, giving us foggy or blurred vision. This is a cataract.
Cataracts usually take years to develop. When cataracts get worse, cataracts can affect the color we see. This makes the objects we see become slightly brownish yellow. Cataracts often affect both eyes, but rarely with the same severity.
What are the features and symptoms of cataract eyes?
People with cataract eyes may have the following symptoms:
- Blurred or foggy vision
- Vision can be affected by small spots
- Blurred vision is only in a number of areas of vision
- Vision deteriorates when in dim lighting
- Vision deteriorates when in a room with very bright or dazzling lights
- Fade /dimming intensity
- Frequently back and forth to replace prescription glasses or contact lenses. In the end, glasses become no longer effective.
- Very rarely, the person sees a halo (white ring) around a bright object, such as a car headlight or street light - or, that person can have double vision in one eye
Can cataract eyes be prevented?
There is no treatment to prevent or slow the development of cataracts. In cases of age-related cataract eyes, changes in vision can be very gradual. Some people may initially be unaware of visual changes. However, as cataracts worsen, symptoms of vision increase.
But some lifestyle changes can help you slow down the process - or even prevent it altogether. For example:
1. Wear sunglasses when the weather is hot
Wear sunglasses and caps with edges to block ultraviolet sunlight can help to delay cataracts. If you smoke, stop right now.
2. Limit carbohydrate intake
Reducing the risk of cataracts can be done by limiting carbohydrate intake. A study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & amp; Visual Science found that people who ate a lot of carbohydrates were at a three-fold risk of cataracts than those who ate the least.
3. Drink tea
Green or black tea can save our vision. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found green and black tea can inhibit the development of diabetes-related cataracts.
4. Increase intake of vitamin C
Increased intake of vitamin C has been associated with a reduced risk of eye cataracts. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that high levels of vitamin C reduced the risk of cataracts by 64 percent. Other nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E and zinc, are also known to be able to reduce the risk of a number of eye diseases, including cataracts. The researchers also recommend that you multiply vegetables to eat green leafy fruit and other foods with antioxidants.
Meanwhile, a high intake of lycopene - a natural chemical that gives red fruits and vegetables - was associated with a 46 percent increased risk of eye cataracts.
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