If you have a cat, then you may have heard of atopic cataracts. This is a condition that affects cats and can lead to vision loss if not treated. In this blog post, we will discuss what atopic cataract is, the symptoms to look out for, and how it is treated. We will also provide advice on how to keep your cat’s eyes healthy!
What Is Atopic Cataract?
An atopic cataract is a type of cataract that is associated with atopy or an allergic tendency. Atopic individuals are more prone to developing allergies and often have a family history of allergies. The term “atopic” was first used in the 1930s by Dr. Coca to describe patients with a personal or family history of allergies who also had certain physical characteristics, such as eczema, asthma, and hay fever.
Atopic cataracts tend to be smaller and develop more slowly than other types of cataracts. They are also more common in people who have a history of allergies or asthma. This type of cataract usually affects both eyes, but they can occur in just one eye.
It is believed that atopic cataracts are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought that atopic cataracts may be caused by an abnormal response of the immune system to certain proteins in the eye. So if you are prone to allergies, you may be at increased risk for developing this type of cataract.
There are two types of atopic cataracts: anterior and posterior.
- Anterior atopic cataracts tend to develop in the front part of the eye and are more common in children. It is also the most common type of atopic cataract. For instance, in a study of Japanese children, anterior atopic cataracts were found in 71.0% of cases.
- Posterior atopic cataracts are less common and tend to develop in the back part of the eye. This type is more likely to occur in adults. A study of people with atopic dermatitis found that posterior atopic cataracts were present in 22.0% of cases.
These types of atopic cataracts are important to know because the treatment differs depending on the type. So when you are aware of the type, you can get the appropriate treatment to help improve your vision.
What Are the Symptoms?
Atopic cataracts usually develop slowly and do not cause any pain. Let’s discuss some common symptoms:
Blurry vision is one of the most common symptoms associated with atopic cataracts. This happens because the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, which interferes with the light that enters your eye.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty seeing at night: This is because atopic cataracts tend to form first on the back surface of the lens, where they interfere with light passing through the eye.
- Sensitivity to light: This can be due to the cloudiness of the lens, as well as inflammation in the eye.
- Halos around lights: This is another symptom that is caused by the cloudiness of the lens.
- Double vision: This happens when the cataract on the back surface of the lens interferes with light passing through the eye.
These symptoms can impact your quality of life, so it is important to see an eye doctor if you are experiencing any of them. An eye exam can help determine whether or not you have atopic cataracts. For instance, it can be difficult to tell the difference between atopic cataracts and age-related cataracts, which is why an eye doctor’s opinion is important.
Therefore, if you are having any of the above symptoms, make sure to book an appointment with your eye doctor. And, you should also see your doctor if you have a family history of atopic cataracts. Early diagnosis and treatment are important in order to prevent the condition from progressing and impacting your vision.
What Causes Atopic Cataracts?
There are several factors that may contribute to the development of atopic cataracts:
- Aging: As we age, our bodies produce less of the antioxidant enzymes that help protect our eyes from damage. This increased oxidative stress may lead to the formation of cataracts.
- Inflammation: Long-term inflammation, such as that seen in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, can also damage the lens of the eye and lead to cataract formation.
- Diet: A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates has been linked to an increased risk of developing cataracts.
- Exposure to toxins: Exposure to certain toxins, such as heavy metals, may also increase the risk of developing cataracts.
These causes are not definitive, and further research is needed to confirm their role in atopic cataract formation. Some risk factors have been associated with atopic cataracts, such as:
- Family history: If you have a family member with atopic cataracts, you may be at increased risk of developing the condition yourself.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts than those without the disease.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure has also been linked to an increased risk of developing atopic cataracts.
If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk of developing atopic cataracts. There is no sure way to prevent atopic cataracts, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. So do not delay, and consult your doctor today!
How Is It Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of atopic cataract is made by your ophthalmologist during a comprehensive eye exam. Your ophthalmologist will look for certain characteristics in your eyes that are typical of this condition. In addition, they may ask about your family history and any other health conditions you have that could be contributing to the development of cataracts.
There are also methods of testing for atopic cataracts that can be performed in the office, such as using a special type of microscope to examine the back of the eye (fundus examination) or performing genetic testing.
For instance, in people with certain types of atopic cataracts, the proteins that make up the lens of the eye may be abnormal. This can be detected with a test called genetic testing. It is essential to have a comprehensive eye exam and discuss your family history with your ophthalmologist to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Atopic cataracts are treated the same way as other types of cataracts, with surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one (intraocular lens, or IOL). In most cases, cataract surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight.
The surgery itself is usually pretty straightforward. First, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops. Next, your surgeon will make a small incision in the eye and insert a tiny instrument called an ultrasonic probe. This probe will emit sound waves that break up the cloudy lens so it can be removed.
Once the clouded lens is out, your surgeon will place the IOL in your eye. There are different types of IOLs available, and your surgeon will help you choose the best one for your needs. In most cases, the IOL will be made of plastic or silicone.
After the IOL is in place, your surgeon will close the incision with dissolvable stitches and you’ll be on your way. Recovery from atopic cataracts is usually pretty quick, and most people are back to their normal activities within a few days.
If you have an atopic cataract, don’t wait to get them treated. The sooner you have surgery, the better your vision will be. Talk to your eye doctor about your treatment options and find a surgeon you trust to do the procedure.
Can Atopic Cataracts be Prevented?
It is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that they can catch any early signs of cataracts. If you have a family history of atopic cataracts, be sure to mention this to your doctor. There is no guaranteed way to prevent atopic cataracts, but there are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Wear sunglasses or other eye protection when outdoors
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent atopic cataracts, taking these steps can help lower your risk. If you are diagnosed with atopic cataracts, treatment options are available. Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts, and most people who have surgery experience an improvement in their vision.
All in all, you should see your eye doctor regularly to check for signs of atopic cataracts. If you are diagnosed with this type of cataract, treatment options are available and most people experience an improvement in their vision after surgery. Taking above mentioned steps can also help lower your risk.
To conclude, atopic cataracts are a serious problem that can lead to blindness. It is often misdiagnosed and therefore, it is important to be aware of the symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing this condition from progressing. If you think you or someone you know may have atopic cataracts, be sure to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
In fact, you should see an eye doctor regularly, even if you don’t think you have any problems. Regular check-ups can help catch problems early before they become serious. So don’t delay, make an appointment today! Your vision is important, so take care of your eyes!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Eye Mantra. At EyeMantra we have a team of experienced eye surgeons, who will be happy to answer your any questions on cataract surgery, cataract surgery cost, cataract lens cost for different cataract surgery types- Phacoemulsification, MICS & Femto Laser Cataract. Call us at +91-9711116605 or email at [email protected] for inquiries.