There are at least 2.2 billion people worldwide who experience near or distance vision impairment. Shockingly, almost half of this number – approximately 1 billion people – suffer from vision impairment that could have been prevented or remains untreated. This group includes individuals with moderate to severe distance vision impairment or blindness resulting from unaddressed refractive error (88.4 million), cataracts (94 million), and other causes. In this article, we will discuss whether cataracts can cause blindness and how.
Is it possible for cataracts to cause blindness?
Yes, cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. It even accounts for 50% of blindness globally. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. It can cause blurred vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, and difficulty seeing at night. As the cataract progresses, it can lead to significant visual impairment. This will make it difficult to perform daily activities such as reading or driving.
If the cataract is not removed, it can eventually lead to blindness. However, cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can restore vision and prevent blindness.
How can cataracts lead to blindness?
A cataract causes blindness by gradually reducing the amount of light that can enter the eye and reach the retina. It is a part of the eye that detects light and sends signals to the brain to create visual images. As the cataract progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for light to pass through the cloudy lens, resulting in decreased vision.
In the early stages of cataract development, people may experience mild vision changes, such as blurring or increased glare from lights. As the cataract worsens, vision can become more impaired, and people may experience difficulty with daily activities such as reading, driving, or recognizing faces. In severe cases, the cataract can completely block light from entering the eye, leading to blindness.
It’s important to note that while cataracts can cause significant visual impairment, blindness from cataracts often be effectively treated with cataract surgery, which involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens implant. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can restore vision and prevent blindness in most cases.
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