Christmas Tree Cataract Symptoms, Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment

Christmas Tree Cataract Symptoms, Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment

Christmas tree cataracts are a very uncommon age-related alteration caused by the increased catabolism of denatured proteins associated with membranes.  Amino acids and peptides build up in the reticular meshwork’s lumen, with cysteine being concentrated to the point of crystallization to produce needles that give the eye the interesting look of a Christmas tree. 

CTC is an extremely distinctive kind of cataract. In contrast to other types of cataracts, such as posterior subcapsular cataracts and complicated cataracts, in which some discoloration of the crystalline lens is present, this type of cataract displays a stunning array of colors that shimmers and shines much like a lit Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Cataract Symptoms

In the early stages of a cataract, it is unlikely to observe any symptoms. Years may pass before a patient notices any symptoms of a cataract.

The first symptom that the patient may notice is vision that is foggy or blurry, particularly while driving at night or doing other activities at night. A cloudy vision provides the impression of fog or haze. Another early symptom is the appearance of dull, washed-out, or yellow-hued colors.

As cataract develops, it is not uncommon for a person to experience sensitivity to light, often known as photophobia. As a result, both all sources of illumination seem more intense, which results in visual discomfort or headaches.

Patients with bilateral cataracts experience uneven progression of the disease. In extreme cases, this causes a person to see visual ghosting or experience double vision in one eye.

Christmas Tree Cataract Causes

Christmas tree cataracts are a very uncommon age-related alteration caused by the increased catabolism of denatured proteins associated with membranes. Individuals aged 60 to 70 are frequently found with this illness.

Myotonic dystrophy is sometimes considered a factor in the development of this type of cataract. Myotonic dystrophy is one of several types of muscular dystrophy. It also impacts some organs. The medical word “myotonia,” refers to the inability of a person’s muscles to relax. It is a progressive degenerative disorder. As the illness worsens, the muscles get smaller and weaker.

Myotonic dystrophy can lead to an early start of cataracts, which has a visible impact on eye health. Christmas tree cataracts are caused by myotonic dystrophy in certain people, however, the condition appears to occur at random in the vast majority of cases.

Christmas Tree Cataract Diagnosis

Nearly all people with DM1 will develop Christmas tree cataracts, however, only 16.7% of those affected are diagnosed with DM1.  In other words, the majority of CTC (Christmas Tree Cataracts) are arbitrary, yet they happen to a lot of people who have DM.

Cardiovascular dysrhythmia, gastrointestinal complaints, a higher risk of malignancy, primary hypogonadism, insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and hypertriglyceridemia, abnormal liver function tests, and baldness are further signs and symptoms of DM.

 The discovery of a CTC can expedite the treatment and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, a complex systemic disease with ocular signs.

Christmas Tree Cataract Treatment

When visual symptoms make it difficult to carry out daily tasks or when the patient wants better vision to enhance their quality of life, cataract surgery is advised. This varies based on the particular requirements of every patient.

Like other cataracts, CTC (Christmas Tree Cataracts) can be removed. The most popular methods for treating cataracts are:

  1. Traditional Cataract Surgery:  A micro-blade is first used to cut a hole into the cornea. After that, an ultrasonic probe in the shape of a pen is put into the incision and ultrasonic waves are used to break up the cataract. After that, a suction device employing ultrasonic technology is used to take out the lens. 
  2. Laser Cataract Removal: Utilizing a femtosecond laser, a microscopic incision is made in the cornea. The lens of the eye is then extracted from its protective capsule. An anterior capsulotomy is a term that describes this procedure. The cataract is finally broken up into smaller pieces using the laser, and these pieces are then removed using the ultrasound-assisted pen-shaped probe.

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