According to the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health, around 25 million people in the United States have a cataract in at least one of their eyes. By the end of the current decade, that number is expected to jump to around 40 million. By 2050, that number will increase again to nearly 50 million.
So, it’s clear that having cataracts is a large-scale issue within the United States. But what exactly are cataracts and what are the symptoms? Also, what treatments are available, and could CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that has demonstrated potential in treating numerous issues, be one of them? To answer these questions, make sure to read on.
What Are Cataracts?
To understand cataracts, we must understand the eye. A key component of the eye is the lens, which helps to refract light received by the eye. A healthy eye will have a clear lens. When the lens in eyes becomes cloudy, then you likely have cataracts.
It is possible to have a single cataract, where only one of your eyes is affected. If you have cataracts due to cloudiness in the lens of both eyes, it was not caused by the cataract in one eye jumping to the other one, too.
What Are The Causes and Symptoms?
The most common cause of cataracts is age. Around the age of 40, proteins in the lens of the eye begin to break down, which induces cloudiness. Most people experience cataracts after turning 60.
Some other risk factors increase the likelihood of developing cataracts:
- Being diabetic
- Exposure to UV light
- Eye surgery
- Radiation treatments to the upper body
- Receiving an injury to the eye
- Using corticosteroids
People with cataracts tend to experience the same symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Seeing double
- Sensitivity to light
- Issues seeing well at night
- Normally bright colors now look dull or yellow
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a cataract vision simulator on their website. This helps demonstrate how vision fades for those with cataracts.
What Research Has Been Done On CBD As A Treatment?
When it comes to treatments, the most common one is prescription glasses. However, there comes a time when even glasses will not improve vision, and surgery becomes necessary.
There’s a clear lack of research, though, when it comes to CBD and cataracts. CBD has been found to make conditions worse for glaucoma, an unrelated eye disease. However, CBD may help with some of the secondary or tertiary effects of cataracts, such as anxiety. If you’re struggling with your vision, reach out to your doctor. They can help determine the root causes and provide effective treatment options.