Cataract

 

Cataract is the leading cause of curable blindness in India. Now we will see few frequently asked questions about cataract and its treatments.

What is Cataract?

The word Cataract literally means Waterfall. For someone with an advanced Cataract vision can be described as trying to see through a Waterfall. The crystalline lens in your eye is normally clear. It allows light to pass through your eye to make sharp images. Cataract is the clouding of the lens inside your eye. It can develop in one or both eyes at the same or different times.



What are the symptoms of Cataract?

  • Blurring of vision.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Frequent change in eye glass prescription.
  • A halo (circle of light) around street lights & car headlights.
  • Fading colours.
  • Day -blindness & difficulty in night driving.
  • Reading, watching TV and other daily activities may be more difficult than you are used to be.


What causes Cataract?

Cataracts are most commonly found in older people which are called senile (age related) cataract. Rarely babies are born with cataract which we name as congenital cataract.

Other causes

  • Diabetes (Diabetic people tend to develop cataracts at an earlier age)
  • Injuries to the eye (Traumatic cataract)
  • Other eye conditions such as, uveitis (Secondary cataract)

Risk factors

  • History of cataracts in your family.
  • Over exposure to sunlight.
  • Life style factors such as poor diet and smoking.
  • Taking steroid medicine for a long time.

Treatment of Cataract

Surgery is the only option. No medication, exercises or optical devices can prevent or delay or dissolve the cataract.

The commonest method of removing cataracts include Phacoemulsification and Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS) with Intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.

SICS: It is an older procedure where the cataract is removed through an incision of 5 to 7mm in your eye and an IOL is put inside. The surgery usually is stitchless but require a prolonged post operative care.

Phacoemulsification: This is the most modern technique. In this method a tiny ultrasound probe is inserted through a very small incision of about 2 to 2.8mm. The probe uses ultrasound vibrations to break the cataract into small pieces which are suctioned out gently. A foldable intraocular lens is then inserted in the eye. The surgery takes only 15 to 20mins, allowing faster and safer healing, thereby allowing your return to normal activity.

The latest development in the field of phacoemulsificaion is Micro Phaco (MICS) which has reduced the incision to only 1.4mm allowing the patient to get his glasses and resume his work the very next day.


Busting myths

Myth : Only older people develop cataract.
Fact : Eye-Drops or other drugs will not dissolve a cataract or slow its progress.
Myth : Cataract can be treated with Eye-Drops.
Fact : Eye-Drops or other drugs will not dissolve a cataract or slow its progress.
Myth : Cataract should be operated in mature stage.
Fact : Cataract can be operated in any stage. In Phaco operation, immature stage is ideal. If the cataract becomes very hard, Phaco operation becomes difficult.
Myth : Cataract surgery should be done only in Winter.
Fact : Phaco operation can be done in any season, because after this modern surgery there is no such restrictions of having full bath or taking prolonged rest.
Myth : Long days rest is necessary after cataract surgery.
Fact : After modern phaco surgery patient can resume normal work only after 24 hours & it's a painless, no injection, no patch procedure.


What should you expect from Cataract Phaco-surgery?

This is a very safe technique for removal of cataract as well as a totally painless operation (almost all operations are done under Topical Anaesthesia). You can choose your choice of IOLs depending on your lifestyle and visual requirement. With monofocal IOLs you can see the distant objects clearly, but for reading glasses are necessary. With multifocal IOLs you can expect clear distance and near vision.

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CATARACT

Cataract is the leading cause of curable blindness in India. Now we will see few frequently asked questions about cataract and its treatments.

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GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is a slowly progressive visual loss due to the damage of optic nerve - the part responsible for carrying images to brain.

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RETINA

A layer at the backhe brain, where a visual image is formed. Diabetes is now a very common disease in our community.

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LASIK

A mechanical blade (Microkeratome) cuts a flap of cornea → a hinge is left at the edge of flap → flap is folded back revealing corneal stroma