What is a Cataract?
A cataract refers to a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eyes. As a person ages, the lens tissues of the eyes become thicker and lose their transparency and flexibility. It develops slowly and can eventually interfere with the vision. A person can end up with cataracts in both the eyes, and the colour of the lens also turns yellowish owing to the protein mass that builds up. It leads to obstruction in vision, and the person starts to have difficulty seeing things clearly, with everything appearing darker and blurred.
Who Can Get Cataract?
Although cataract is an age-related health problem, there are certain risk factors due to which people of a younger age may also get this disorder. Some of the factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Eye injury, surgery or inflammation
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Family medical history
- Too much exposure to sunlight or ionizing radiation (viz. UV rays, X-Ray or cancer radiation therapy)
- Vitamin deficiency
- Long-term use of corticosteroid medicines
What are the Symptoms of Cataract?
With clouding of the eye lens, the patient might notice the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with night vision
- Increase in sensitivity to brightness
- Observing halos around lights
- Double vision in affected eyes
- Colours appear to be faded or yellowish
- Frequent changes in eyeglasses
When is Surgery Required?
The first step to diagnosing a cataract is an eye examination that includes various tests like visual acuity test, slit-lamp examination, dilated eye test and tonometry.
A cataract is a disorder that cannot be rectified with glasses, contact lenses, medicines or eye drops. The only solution is its removal through surgical procedures. However, having cataracts does not mean you immediately have surgery done. There are some people with cataracts who do not report any symptoms or vision problems. Surgery is required only when a cataract affects a person in a way that he/she is unable to carry on with day-to-day tasks.
However, in advanced stages, a cataract hardens, making it difficult to remove. Ignoring the condition may cause other problems like inflammation or glaucoma. Hence, it is advisable to speak to the doctor to know the right time for surgery.
Prevention of Cataracts
To reduce your risk of developing cataracts:
- Protect your eyes from UVB rays by wearing sunglasses outside
- Annual eye health check-up
- Quit smoking
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants
- Keep diabetes and other medical conditions check
Buy Health Insurance to Avail the Best Medical Treatment for Cataract
Ageing tends to weaken the organs of the body, including the eyes. A cataract is among the common eye disorders observed in elderly people. If you find your grandparents or senior citizen parents struggle with vision problems, you must take them to the doctor as that could be a sign of a cataract. In adverse cases, it may lead to blindness.
Thanks to scientific advancement, they no longer require to go under the knife for surgery. Laser-assisted surgical procedures have made things easier and safer for senior citizens. Moreover, with health insurance, you could avail the best medical treatment for your elderly family members in the most affordable way.
Pick a Health Insurance for Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery costs in India varies depending on the location, type of lens implanted and surgical procedure involved. It usually ranges between Rs.10,000 and Rs.1,00,000. If you are availing of treatment at a leading hospital in a metro city, the costs are likely to be higher. In case advanced procedures are adopted, the cost could be Rs 60,000 for one eye. Surgery to remove a cataract is generally very safe and has a high success rate. Most people can go home the same day of their surgery.
With affordable premium cost, buying a health insurance plan for your ageing parents is a good idea. Such plans will cover the medical expenses involving day care treatments, and post-surgery expenses, subject to policy terms and conditions.
Avail health insurance for parents through Care Health Insurance (Formerly Religare Health Insurance) and get easy claim settlement for cataract surgery along with a host of benefits.