Given the fact that the month of April is widely considered the month for ‘women’s eye health and safety‘, it is only necessary that we talk about a major eye disease affecting women. According to the National Eye Institute, about 3.4 million adults from ages 40 and above suffer from visual impairment, with women accounting for 2.3 million in most cases. Also, findings by The World Health Organisation estimate that women comprise more than 64.5% of all visually impaired people worldwide.
From research, Cataract is the main cause of avoidable blindness worldwide with developing countries accounting for three-quarter of this blindness. Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil; in Nigeria alone over 100 thousand cases are reported per year.
There are different kinds of cataracts which affect different parts of the lens and they include:
- A subcapsular cataract: which is cataracts that affects the back of the lens
- A nuclear cataract: Cataracts affecting the centre of the lens
- A cortical cataract: Cataracts that affects the edges of the lens
- A congenital cataract: Cataracts individuals are born with
Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision and can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face. .
Women who stand the chance of having cataracts include women of increasing age, women with diabetes, women who expose themselves to sunlight, smoke, drink excessively, or have had eye injury/ inflammation/surgery and women with obesity and high blood pressure.
To end this article, here are major facts you need to know about cataracts
- Advanced age is the single most important risk factor for cataracts
- It is possible to be born with cataract
- Cataract surgery is one of the most perfected surgeries in the world
- Cataract cannot spread from one eye to the other
- You can cut down your risk of cataracts by stopping excessive drinking, smoking e.t.c and eat more of fruits and vegetables
Finally, the World Health Organisation(WHO) developed an initiative called ‘VISION 2020: The right to sight’ and it is targeted to eliminate avoidable blindness.
It is also advisable to go for regular eye checkup to help prevent cataract or for early detection of cataract.