A cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. A cataract begins when proteins in the eye form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina. When this occurs, vision is affected.
What are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms of cataracts include:
Trouble seeing at night
Seeing colors as faded
Increased sensitivity to glare
Halos surrounding lights
Double vision in the affected eye
A need for frequent changes in prescription glasses
What causes Cataract?
Aging is the most common cause of cataract. Other causes include:
Inherited or developmental problems
Health problems such as diabetes and other chronic illness
Long term use of medications such as steroids
Trauma to the eye
Treatment for Cataract
Phacoemulsification is the most widely used cataract surgery. It is successful in recovering eyesight in the majority of patients. The surgeon creates a small incision on the side of the cornea, removes the clouded natural lens of the eye after dissolving it (a technique known as Phacoemulsification), and replaces it with an artificial ‘Intraocular Lens' (IOL). Stitches are not necessary since the incision is so tiny, and the eye heals rapidly, enabling the patient to resume their normal routine within a week. Modern cataract surgery is a quick and painless outpatient operation that takes only a few minutes.
Extracapsular cataract surgery: This treatment is mostly used to treat advanced cataracts in which the lens is too thick to disintegrate into pieces (phacoemulsify). This method necessitates a bigger incision in order to remove the cataract in one piece without fragmenting it inside the eye. With the phacoemulsification method, an artificial lens is implanted in the same capsular bag as the natural lens. To seal the bigger incision, this surgical method needs a variety of sutures, and visual recovery is typically delayed.
Intracapsular cataract surgery: This procedure necessitates a bigger incision than extracapsular surgery, and the surgeon removes the whole lens as well as the surrounding capsule. Although this technique is rarely utilized nowadays, it can nevertheless be helpful in situations of severe damage. The procedure takes fifteen to thirty minutes. If you have cataracts in both eyes, only one will be operated on at a time, with at least 2 to 4 weeks gap between surgeries.
FAQs about Cataract Surgery
1. How Is Cataract Detected?
Your optometrist or family doctor may identify a cataract. To verify that there are no other causes for your hazy vision, your optometrist or eye expert should do a complete eye examination.
2. How Fast Does A Cataract Develop?
The rate at which a cataract develops differs from person to person and even between eyes. Cataracts can develop quickly in younger individuals and persons with diabetes over a few months. Most age-related cataracts, on the other hand, develop gradually over time.
3. When Should A Person With A Cataract Have Surgery?
When vision loss begins to interfere with everyday activities or impair your quality of life, cataract surgery may be explored. A patient and his or her surgeon should determine jointly when surgery is suitable based on the individual symptoms.
4. Is Cataract Surgery Permanent?
Yes. Once a cataract has been removed, it is impossible to develop another. However, owing to the thickening of the lens capsule that supports your prosthetic lens, around 10% of patients may notice progressive blurring of vision months or even years after surgery. If this happens, a simple laser procedure called a capsulotomy, which may be done in a single visit to the clinic, restores clear vision.
5. Will I Need Glasses After The Surgery?
For fine visual tasks, most patients will need glasses, however some patients may be able to get by without them for particular activities. Your requirement for spectacles following surgery is determined by the design of your IOL. Advanced IOLs (Toric, Multifical, and Accomodative) can cure cataracts while also eliminating the need for spectacles.
6. Does cataract surgery hurt?
No. An anesthetic is applied before surgery so that there is no pain, but some people experience slight discomfort after the surgery. The anesthetic stops the eye from moving during the operation and your eyelids are held open by a spring, so all you have to do is lie still for the surgery. During the procedure, you are unable to see what is going on.
7. Can Problems Occur After Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a low-risk procedure with a high success rate. It's crucial to understand the problems that might arise during or after surgery. If you have even the tiniest issue following surgery, please call your surgeon right once.