Have you often heard the word cataracts and wondered what that is?
Most of us hear about this condition in relation to vision loss and aging, but we don’t exactly know what it is.
To explain it simply cataracts are the result of the buildup of dead protein in the eye’s lens. Think of it like this, the eye is a super camera and like any other camera, it needs a lens to capture imagery. The lens is a thin piece of curved covering that bends light coming into our eyes so our brain can process the light and make an image of it. Basically, without the lens, we can’t see.
You still with me so far? Great, let’s keep going!
Unlike a camera lens that is made from a special glass, a human lens is comprised of water and protein cells. As we get older our protein cells naturally begin to break down, the problem here is that when the protein cells begin to break down and die, they all crowd up in one location. This crowding of broken cells limits the light that the lens can bend, and as a result, causes blurry vision. It’s like using your cell phone camera on a hot and muggy day, all the heat and moisture creates a blur on your camera lens, making taking pictures nearly impossible!
Remember, cataracts are not just an age-related concern. It can also be triggered by such things as a family history of cataracts, illness and disease such as diabetes, and even little things like not wearing sunglasses when the sun is big and bright.
Not to worry though, fortunately, enough cataract surgeries are very simple and safe, 10 minutes and you're good to go! However, that’s not the case for most people. Nearly 20 million people around the world suffer from severe cataracts blindness, and the worst part is they don’t have access or the resources for treatment.
That’s why Muslim Hands Canada is taking the initiative with our eye clinics in Mali and Pakistan where we’re able to provide free screening and surgery for thousands of patients.