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Can a Cataract Cause Blindness: Understanding the Connection

Gina Walters



A Cataract is an eye condition that clouds the eye’s natural lens and leads to blurred vision, photophobia, and more.

Cataracts are normally treatable, but many people are concerned about what will happen if the condition is left untreated. 

So, can a Cataract cause blindness if left untreated?

Let us explore the relationship between Cataracts and blindness in detail.

Can a Cataract cause blindness if left untreated

Yes, severe Cataract cases can affect one’s vision and lead to complete blindness if not treated properly. 

A study states that Cataracts are responsible for almost 50% of cases of blindness, making it  one of the leading causes worldwide.

The eye lens is an important part that helps focus light and allows clear vision.  

However, the protein in the eye lens starts breaking down and clumping together around age 40.

This process is responsible for the clouding effect and results in blurred or dirty vision.

However, the clumps increase without treatment and lead to a growth in the size of Cataracts.

The increase in the size of the Cataract can reduce one’s vision and increase the chances of blindness. 

The vision changes can affect one’s daily tasks and may make reading, driving, and identifying faces more difficult.

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How quickly can Cataracts cause blindness

types of cataractSource: Africa_images
Man with a cataract eye

The time Cataracts take to cause blindness depends on various factors like the severity and type of Cataracts.

Also, the development rate of Cataracts is different for everyone.

In most cases, Cataracts progress slowly and allow individuals to adapt to changes in their vision.

On the other hand, some people get severe eye damage in a few months and may experience a rapid decline in vision.

Consult an eye expert for regular eye check-ups to detect any eye condition early.

Individuals should get timely treatment to help restore clear vision and prevent further damage.

Can blindness from Cataracts be reversed

Yes, blindness from Cataracts is completely reversible by removing the Cataracts with the help of Cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is a simple and common procedure that removes one’s eye lens and replaces it with an artificial lens.

The success rate of the surgery is high, and around 90 to 95% of patients may experience an improvement in vision.

The different types of Cataract surgery include Extracapsular Cataract Extraction, Phacoemulsification, and Intracapsular Cataract Extraction.

Cataract surgery is safe but may cause complications like infection, inflammation, and Secondary Cataracts. Consult an expert to discuss the risk factors properly.

However, doctors may also prescribe antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatory eye drops to help with surgery aftercare.

One can also try strategies like protecting eyes from UV rays, quitting smoking, and more to help prevent Cataracts.

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Key takeaways

A Cataract is a common eye condition that leads to the clouding of the eye’s natural lens.

However, can a Cataract cause blindness if left untreated?

Yes, severe cases of Cataracts can affect one’s vision and lead to complete blindness if not treated properly. 

The vision changes can further make daily tasks like reading, driving, and identifying faces more difficult.

Fortunately, blindness from Cataracts is reversible with the help of Cataract surgery.

Consult an eye expert to get proper eye exams and treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen if a Cataract is left untreated?

If a Cataract is left untreated, it will lead to vision problems and may trouble daily activities. The cloudy lens limits the amount of light entering the eye and causes blurred vision.

What are the causes of Cataracts?

The main cause of Cataracts is aging. However, other causes of Cataracts include genetics, eye injuries, certain medical conditions like Diabetes, exposure to UV rays, and more.

Can vitamin C help with Cataracts?

Yes, vitamin C can help reduce the risk of Cataracts. Therefore, one should include vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers.

How do I know if I have Cataracts?

An individual may have Cataracts if they experience Cataract symptoms like blurred vision, light sensitivity, trouble recognizing colors, frequent changes in eye prescription, halos around lights, and more.

How to treat mild cases of Cataracts?

Mild cases of Cataracts can be managed with prescription glasses and improved lighting. One can also try lifestyle adjustments like regular eye check-ups, antioxidant-rich diets, UV protection, and more to help improve vision.

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