What is Cataract?
Cataract is the clouding of the lens of your eye. As the lens does the work of focusing the images of what we see, a clouded lens leads to a decrease in your vision.
Cataract is a condition in which ones natural crystalline lens turns cloudy or white. This clouding scatters the light passing through the eye, resulting in haze or blurred vision. If left untreated, cataract can eventually lead to blindness. The solution is surgery, where the cataract lens is removed and replaced by an intraocular lens(IOLs).
Understanding Cataract Surgery
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
Don’t let cataracts cloud your vision
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide
What causes Cataract?
Ageing is the most common cause. As you age the proteins in your lens break down making it rigid and cloudy. Other than ageing, many conditions can accelerate the break – down of lens proteins like
- Eye injury or prolonged exposure to radiation, sun or X- rays.
- Inflammation of your iris, uvea, etc.
- Disorders like hypothyroidism and atopic dermatitis
- Genetic diseases like Down’s Wilson’s. Homocystinuria, Myotonic Dystrophy etc.
- Infections affecting the baby in womb-like Herpes, Rubella, Syphilis, etc.
- Medications like steroids and haloperidol.
What are the symptoms?
A cataract develops very gradually and painlessly. It may affect one or both eyes.
- Blurry vision as if looking through a frosted glass.
- Halos around objects especially bright lights e.g excess glaring from oncoming headlights.
- Loss of contrast sensitivity and full dull appearance of colours.
- Second light: Temporary improvement in near vision.
What are the treatment options?
If your cataract is in the initial stages, bifocal spectacles, magnifying glasses, sunglasses and better lighting can help you. If your daily activities are hampered, cataract surgery has to be considered where your clouded lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens.
Intraocular Lens Implanting Procedure
intraocular lens (IOL) implanted
IOL in place
IOL Position in Eye
Remember: Vision impairment due to cataract can significantly limit your lifestyle.
Talk to your doctor today to know more.
What to expect from your cataract surgery
Before Your Surgery
Similar to glasses or contact lenses, the new lens will be chosen to meet your vision needs. Your eye will be measured to determine what strength and type of IOL will be best for you. Most patients will be measured with an optical biometer such as the IOL Master.
The Day of Your Surgery
Cataract surgery is generally an outpatient procedure. You will be fully awake, but you will be comfortable and feel minimal discomfort. If any, Local or topical anesthetic will be used.
The cataract is removed using an ultrasonic probe that breaks up and removes the cloudy lens. A new IOL is implanted in its place.
After Your Surgery
Your doctor will provide temporary protective glass or place a cover on your eye and advise when it can be removed. You will need to use drops to prevent infection and promote proper healing.
Depending on the type of lens you receive, you may still need glasses for reading and working on the computer. You should be able to resume most normal activities within a day of your procedure.
How do I prevent cataract?
Though cataract is age-related, you can slow down its progress by
- Using sunglasses that have a UV filter.
- Quitting smoking
- Regular eye – checkup.
- Strict control over your blood sugar.
When do I do in for surgery?
Cataract surgery is rarely an emergency surgery and should be considered when your vision cannot be improved with new glasses and is no longer good enough for your daily activities.
Are there any possible side effects of surgery?
As with any surgery, the chances of swelling, bleeding, pain, infection, and complications are possible, but it is very rare for patients, to have any serious problems. Your doctor will prescribe medications to prevent these.
Can cataract be dissolved with medications?
As of now, no medications or eye drops have been proved to dissolve or remove a cataract.
Does the artificial lens have an expiry date?
Your artificial lens is designed to last for the rest of your life. It needs to be replaced or adjusted only if it causes injury. Severe reaction in your eye or gets dislocated which is very rare.