"You can't see me baby boy, you got them cataracts" - Lil' Wayne in Best Rapper Alive
Who said rap music is bad for you? I think its educational! Lil' Wayne may not know exactly what a cataract is, but he definitely has the right idea.
A cataract is the clouding of the lens that is inside the eye. As the lens becomes more clouded, vision becomes blurred due to light being blocked or scattered. This is the same lens that we use to focus at near objects. The same lens that stops working around the age of 45 and forces people to start wearing reading glasses (See: presbyopia in the "All Kinds of Blurry" post).
Everyone will develop cataracts at some point in their lives if they live long enough. How much and how fast depends on the individual and the environment. Medical conditions like diabetes can cause cataracts to develop faster. Sunlight is the main environmental factor. So, grab those sunglasses!
Congenital cataracts - It is possible to be born with a cataract. I recently saw a 5 year old boy who had a cataract in one eye. Another reason why kids should have regular eye exams.
Traumatic cataracts - Getting hit in the eye can cause a cataract. Wear protective lenses whenever possible!
How do you treat cataracts?
The only treatment is removal. The cloudy lens is removed and new clear plastic lens is inserted in its place. The surgery takes about 10-15 minutes per eye and requires an incision less than half a millimeter in size!
Who knows, maybe next week Kanye West will rap about Macular Degeneration... Stay posted!
"I spent a G on these frames, but my vision is priceless" - Lil' Wayne