Cataract: The Cause Of Blindness

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According to WHO, cataract is the cause of blindness in more than half of the world’s total blind, accounting for blindness in about 20 million people in 2010.23 In 2010, one in three blind people was blind due to cataract, while it was the reason of visual impairment in one out of six visually impaired people.24 According to a study, the total number of blind people is expected to rise up to 75 million by 202025 out of which 30.1 million are estimated to be blind due to cataract.26 In a 2004 US study, cataract was found to be responsible for approximately 50% of bilateral vision worse than 6/12 (20/40) among populations of different ethnicities.27 In 1996 it was estimated that every year, 5 million new cases of blindness due to cataract occur…show more content…
An example of this fact can be demonstrated by the results of a 2014 prospective cohort study, which concludes that drivers with cataract are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in car crashes even after adjustments for co morbidities and driving exposure.29 Furthermore, studies have also provided evidence for increased mortality in older persons with cataract.30 This combined with the negative impact of undiagnosed cataract on visual functioning, makes it one of the most devastating ophthalmic diseases which need to be given immediate global and national attention. 31 Not only is the backlog of blinding cataract a major problem in the Third World due to population explosion,32 but it is also a major drain on the resources of developed nations to provide surgery for early cataract.33 It was estimated in 2015 that blindness costs nations productivity losses ranging from $0.1 billion to $2.5 billion.34 This just adds to the already established fact that prevention of blindness, specially that caused by cataract, can lead to a massive improvement in global…show more content…
Not only is cataract surgery the most common elective surgical procedure required by the blind, 35 but also one of the most cost-effective surgical interventions.36 Nonetheless, not all people with cataracts have ready access to healthcare services. This accounts for an enormous weigh down on the budget and resources of the healthcare systems of every country that cannot possibly be ignored. However, it is promising that if practical measures are undertaken that could slow the onset of cataract by 10 years, the need for cataract surgery can reportedly be decreased by 45%.37 This further stresses upon the fact that timely and practical interventions can decrease the requirement of surgery and improve the quality of life of many people in both developed and developing nations. Many longitudinal studies to identify any possible predisposing risk factors of cataract have been conducted, and their results are now becoming available to clarify the previously identified risk factors. The 2002 population-based cohort Barbados Eye Study signified that the 4-year risk of nuclear cataract significantly increases with age, diabetes, female gender, myopia and lean body

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