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All You Need to Know About Senile Cataract: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, and Treatment

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Written by- Gina Walters
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Senile Cataracts, commonly called old-age Cataracts or senile lens opacities, are an age-related vision-impairing condition.

These Cataracts are characterized by the progressive thickening of the eye’s lens.

This kind of Cataract usually develops slowly and may not show symptoms initially.

But when they worsen, they may result in a substantial loss of eyesight.

Hence, it is necessary to consider early identification, thorough and attentive monitoring, and immediate surgery to manage this condition. 

This article will explore the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment methods of Senile Cataracts.

What is a Senile Cataract

Senile Cataract is the most prevalent kind of Cataract and the main contributing factor to visual loss in elderly people.

Studies show that more than 21 million Americans over 40 are affected by Senile Cataracts. 

Also, its prevalence has increased by 37.5% in adults 60 years of age and older globally. 

The condition is more prevalent in women than in males, and its risk increases with age.

Senile Cataracts tend to develop gradually over many years. 

It might not show any symptoms at all until it is fairly developed. 

The damaged eye may gradually lose vision and become blurry and sensitive to light. 

The surgical removal of the lens can stop the progression of Senile Cataracts.

Suggestion:
If you have visual issues, consult an eye doctor for a thorough eye checkup. Early diagnosis and treatment can aid in avoiding or reducing the onset of Senile Cataracts.

What are the symptoms of Senile Cataract

blurred visionSource: pixel_shots
Woman suffering from blurred vision

In most cases, Senile Cataracts might not show symptoms until they are fairly advanced.

Cloudy or blurry vision is the most common sign of a Senile Cataract. 

However, other symptoms of Senile Cataract may include:

  • Trouble seeing and driving at night
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Shadows around lights
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Progressive vision loss over time
  • Persistent complaints of weak vision
  • Constant eye pain, discomfort, and fatigue
  • Having difficulty seeing in strong light

Symptoms of Cataracts may manifest differently among individuals. Read our article: ‘ Cataract symptoms’ to know more.

What causes Senile Cataracts

Although the exact cause of Senile Cataracts is unknown, age is considered a factor.

The proteins in our lenses begin to degrade and aggregate as we get older. 

A Cataract may eventually result from this clustering, which makes the lens less clear.

Apart from increased age, other factors leading to Senile Cataracts may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Family background of disease
  • Certain medicines, such as steroids and a few Beta-blockers
  • Excessive exposure to UV rays and microwave radiation
  • Eye trauma or surgery
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol intake

Most people wonder if they get Cataracts after surgery. Read our article: Understanding the Possibility: Can Cataracts Come Back After Surgery? to discover the consequences of Cataract surgery.

What are the stages of Senile Cataract

The progression of Senile Cataracts may be divided into distinct stages based on the development of the opacity or cloudiness of the lens. 

The severity of the stages might vary, and people may have various symptoms at each one. 

Early Cataract

This is the earliest stage of the Senile Cataract.

During the early Cataract stage, the Cataract is hardly visible, but you may find it difficult to shift your focus from distant to near.

Immature Cataract

The Cataract is more visible at this stage.

The proteins will have begun blocking the eye’s lens, making it more opaque.

Driving at night can be challenging for some due to reduced color contrast.

Mature Cataract

During this stage, the entire lens gets clouded, substantially compromising vision.|

Individuals may have difficulties reading, driving, or recognizing faces.

The contrast sensitivity is diminished, and colors may seem dull or faded.

Hypermature Cataract

This is the final stage of Senile Cataract. 

As the Cataract ages, the lens may shrink and become more opaque.

Severe visual damage or blindness can occur.

Secondary problems such as inflammation or Glaucoma may develop.

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How to treat Senile Cataract

cataract eyeSource: pixel_shots
Cataract eye surgery

Initially, most people with Senile Cataracts are unaware that they have the condition.

The physician or ophthalmologist will first diagnose the condition by looking at the symptoms and confirming that a Cataract is present.  

The only established treatment for Senile Cataracts is surgery. 

It involves removing and replacing the damaged eye lens with an artificial one. 

Surgery is usually not advised when a Cataract is still in its early stages and the amount of vision loss is minimal. 

However, when Cataracts seriously start to impair your vision and everyday activities, surgical procedures can be used to remove it.

After the natural lens is removed, an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted to restore clear vision.

Are you worried about the side effects of Cataract surgery? Read our article: ‘A Complete Guide on Cataract Surgery Side Effects’ to learn about the identifying symptoms of Cataracts.

Warning:
Senile Cataracts can lead to lens-induced Glaucoma, thus further worsening your eyesight.

Conclusion

Senile Cataracts are types of Cataracts that can cause vision issues in elderly people. 

Aging is the main factor leading to Senile Cataracts, but several other factors make you more susceptible to developing the condition. 

These include Diabetes, certain medications, eye injury, hereditary, and smoking.

The symptoms of Senile Cataract take time to develop and can include eye pain and discomfort, sudden vision issues, and trouble seeing and driving at night. 

The Senile Cataract progresses in different stages that may differ among individuals.

However, the progression and onset of Senile Cataracts can be halted with effective surgical procedures. 

So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Senile Cataract, immediately contact an eye specialist to prevent your vision.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Senile Cataracts?

Increased age is the common cause of Senile Cataracts. 
However, Diabetes, Hypertension, eye injury, steroid usage, and smoking make you prone to developing this type of Cataract.

How is Senile Cataract treated?

Surgery is the only way to treat Senile Cataracts. 
Several surgical processes can be employed to replace the defective lens with an artificial one.

What age does Senile Cataract start?

Senile Cataracts or age-related Cataracts usually begin to develop at around 40. 
Protein begins to deteriorate at this age and starts getting clumped around the lens, making your vision hazy.

What are the stages of Senile Cataracts?

Based on the progression of the opacity or cloudiness of the lens, Senile Cataract has four distinct stages. 
These include early Cataracts, immature Cataracts, mature Cataracts, and premature Cataracts.

Is Senile Cataract curable?

Yes, Senile Cataracts can be treated. Surgery is the only option to treat Senile Cataracts and restore vision loss.

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