30 May 2023 – Cataracts, a prevalent eye condition that affects millions of individuals globally, are receiving increased attention during Cataract Awareness Month in June 2023. On this occasion, the Eye of the World Team, a member of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, is raising awareness about this widespread disease and promoting knowledge about various treatment options. Dr. Mohamed Hendy, the founder and CEO of the Eye of the World Team, provides valuable expertise on cataracts and their management.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, resulting in blurred vision and potential vision loss if left untreated. While the exact causes of cataracts are not always known, several factors have been identified as contributors to their development. Among these factors are age, genetics, eye injuries, diabetes, smoking, and prolonged exposure to sun ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Advancing age is the most common risk factor for cataracts. As individuals grow older, the proteins within the lens can break down and clump together, leading to cloudiness and opacity. Genetic predisposition can also play a role, with certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, associated with an increased risk of cataract formation. Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk due to the impact of elevated glucose on the lens. Moreover, injury to the eye and unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, have also been linked to cataract formation.
While these factors contribute to cataract development, it’s important to note that cataracts can also occur without any identifiable cause. Routine check-ups enable eye care professionals to monitor any changes in the lens and provide appropriate guidance and timely intervention.
Prevention and delaying the progression of cataracts can be achieved through various measures. Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise, and managing underlying medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension can all contribute to reducing the risk of cataracts.
When cataracts significantly impair vision and affect daily life, cataract surgery becomes a viable treatment option. Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure that involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia; patients typically experience improved vision shortly after the procedure.
As we mark Cataract Awareness Month in June 2023, let us remember the importance of early detection, preventive measures, and available treatment options. By raising awareness and understanding, we can empower individuals to take charge of their eye health and maintain clear vision for years.