What is Cataract?
Mostly, people above 40 faces difficulties in seeing nearer objects like letters, books, etc. It is nothing but having cataracts. After a certain age, the human crystalline lens which is always clear, and transparent becomes cloudy and opaque. A cataract is clouding of that crystalline lens inside the eye, hampering human vision.
The most general causes of cataract
Aging is the most common cause of having cataracts. It is an operation to remove those opaque lenses, clearing the path to see objects clearly, or getting back your vision lost to cataract. Human eye lenses carry soluble proteins and water to form a transparent film like a camera lens that enables light to pass through the retina. After a certain age, the proteins of the lens get assembled together, forming a cloud, which is called a cataract. There are also some other causes like congenital and developmental anomalies, inflammation of the eye, trauma, and metabolic disease like Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, etc.
Common Cataract Symptoms
All cataracts are not same. Its symptoms depend on the type of cloud that get formed on the eye lenses. Whatever the cloud type may be, it makes simple tasks difficult and even in some cases, impossible to do. Cataract may develop around the lens periphery or in some people cases, it could be developed in the centre. Some of its common symptoms are blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, changes in eye power, dull appearance of colours.
If you find that a kid doesn’t react well to light or colourful objects, it could be a case of paediatric cataract. Kindly visit to an eye specialist and do a proper eye-check-up immediately.
Can we prevent cataracts?
It is still a pending question in people’s minds, even in Science. Well, there is no strong proof yet that can reduce the risk of cataract. However, people always try to practice a healthy diet that includes:
Cataract Treatment –
The only way to remove cataract is with surgery. There are two types of surgery available for cataract treatment. One is Extra Capsular Cataract Extraction where injections are given near the eye. Through this surgery, the cloudy eye lens is removed in one piece followed by a hard-plastic lens is implanted. Multiple stitches are needed in this cataract surgery. Finally, your ophthalmologist will prescribe to wear glass for a minimum 10 weeks.
The other one is conventional surgery wound micro incision cataract surgery (Phacoemulsification). While the earlier one requires an incision of 7-8 mm, the phacoemulsification process requires a very small incision of 1.5-2.8 mm. This cataract surgery is followed by foldable lens implantation, which is a walk-in walk-out procedure, Stitch less, bloodless, and even painless procedure where possibilities of infection are very low. A quicker healing and recovery treatment than the earlier one. This entire process takes less than half an hour and is also a daycare procedure, which means you can go home on the day of operation.
Cataracts are commonly seen in older people aged above 60. They are rarely seen in infants and adults.
Cataract surgery is a microscopic surgery which is done under local or topical anaesthesia. Phacoemulsification is a micro-incision technique to remove the cloud lens by breaking them into tiny pieces and sucks them out. While a foldable implant requires incision size (2.8 – 3.0 mm), a non-foldable lens requires a 5 mm incision. Luckily, both incisions are self-sealing and don’t need any stitches. Our eye doctor will assist you in deciding as to which lens suit you best.
It depends on the type of intraocular lenses (IOLs) used for the patient’s eye. The advanced multifocal lenses or accommodating IOLs don’t often need glasses, and even reading glasses are also avoided in some cases
Post cataract surgery, a surgeon will answer all your queries that you may have and you will be discharged from the hospital with a caretaker as you are not allowed to leave by yourself alone.
For the first week after surgery, you should protect your eyes from any injury. Do not rub or put pressure on your eye.
In case your doctor prescribes you to wear eyeglasses, he will also instruct you to use after vision gets stabilized. The power of new glasses depends on the type of IOL selected for the patient’s eye. Some may not need to use glasses at all, while others would be informed about the appointment for the measurement for glasses.
At the first post-operative visit to the doctor, eye pressure is tested. In some cases, medication is prescribed to the patient. Dosage of eye drops would be reduced gradually as required.