Cataract in both eyes

I am 39 yrs old. My problem is that I have cataract in both eyes as diagnosed by the eye specialist. According to him, this can problem may be present since birth. But my vision is clear as on date and I am not using glasses. Please let me know the details about this. Is this harmful in the long run? What is the reason for having this type of cataract. Is this hereditary? I am not diabetic also.

 

Thank you for the question about your eyes concerning the diagnosis of cataract made by an eye specialist five years ago. Your specialist suggested that you may have been born with cataract, but as far as you are concerned at the present time, your vision seems good. Let me explain what this means.
As you probably know, the crystalline lens of the eye is that part of the eye which allows us to change focus from far to near, in our younger years. It serves to form a sharp image of the world about us, on the retina of the eye. When we change focus, we alter the shape of the lens, and this permits us to see a distant mountain at one instant and then to read the print of a newspaper, a moment later. To form a picture on the retina, the lens must be transparent, and certainly, for most of us, it is perfectly transparent when we are born. From the age of about 50 years and older, the transparency of the lens begins to decrease and this accounts for some of the loss of visual function that occurs in old age. This is, nonetheless, usually compatible with a good quality of life. But in a proportion of older people, the loss of transparency may amount to an opacity in the lens, which would then be called a cataract. If the cataract overlies the line of sight (that is, it lies on the visual axis) then the cataract will cause visual symptoms, resulting in glare, multiple images, and a loss in sharpness of vision. Eventually, such a cataract may cause such severe visual loss and that it will require cataract surgery, generally with the expectation of a total restoration of vision. What I have described, is the cataract of old age.
Your story, on the other hand appears to be quite different. You are a young person, without, as far as you know any predisposing medical condition which might favour the formation of cataract. For instance you mention, that you don't have sugar (diabetes). Your specialist suggested that you have some form of cataract that you were born with- i.e a congenital cataract. This may well be so, but the important thing to know, is that a cataract, including a congenital cataract, may be so small, that it actually has no effect on your vision. The opacity might not even be in that part of your lens, which would put it in your line of sight. From this, you will understand that it would be perfectly possible for you to have a congenital cataract, which did not affect your sight. Also, I can add, that it is very common for such small, congenital cataracts, to remain stationary for a lifetime. It may therefore be the case, that you have no greater expectation of developing an age-related cataract when you are much older, than another person, without your history of 'congenital cataract'. From your own visual point of view, then, there is no need for you to take any action, as long as your vision is giving no problem.
You ask another question about the possibility of your cataract being inherited. Congenital cataracts can be inherited, and can sometimes be passed on from generation to generation. I cannot know if this is the case with your cataract. It would require another specialist eye examination to assess this. But you should be reassured that there is no family history of cataract. This could mean, that, even if your cataract was inherited, it is of a kind that is so minor, that it does not usually give rise to symptoms.


 
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