A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil approximately 62% of Indian population are blind due to cataract. It is common cause of preventable blindness which can be corrected by simple cataract microsurgery and lens is replaced with a clear plastic lens called Intraocularlens (IOL)
What is a Cataract?
Cataract is a disease that affects the lens of the eye. The human lens, like the lens of a camera focuses light on the retina (the camera film). The Human lens is made up of stable proteins and water arranged in a specific pattern to give the lens its transparent nature. It is the transparency which allows light to pass through and focus on the retina as we grow old the protein start clumping together and with causes the lens to become cloudy and this is called cataract. In the present scenario, Cataract can affect any age group (Childhood – adults – old age)
Cataract Symptoms / Signs
The Symptoms of cataract of cataract largely depends upon the type of cataract that’s developing in the lens. In Simple words, which portion of the lens is affected by cataract, sometime it develops in the center of the lens, in others around the lens periphery and few others it starts from the back of the lens.
The most common symptoms
- Blurred / Cloudy Vision
- Dull Appearance of colors (discolored vision)
- Impaired night vision or glare
- Change in spectacle prescription
- Decrease in color brightness
In some cataract, like nuclear cataract, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision called second sight but This improvement is short lived and it disappear as the cataract worsens
In case of childhood / pediatric cataract the child does notreact well to light or colorful objects If you notice one or more of these symptoms please visit your eye doctor and get a checkup done.
Babies are also born with cataract (called as congenital cataract ) or develop them in childhood (development cataract ), often in both eyes Cataract can also develop in children who have other health problems like rubella, diabetes or associated eye conditions like micro-ophthalmos (small eye)
Other Risk factors -:
- Ultraviolet radiation foam sunlight
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
- Statins medicines use to reduce cholesterol
- Persons eye injury or inflammation
- Precious eye injury or inflammation
- Previous eye surgery
- Hormone replacement therapy
- High myopia
Cataract can be easily treated with a simple procedure. There are several techniques for performing cataract
- Small incision cataract Surgery (SICS)
Cataract is removed through small incision manually. Incision heals faster enabling you to recover quickly
In this method pen like instrument is inserted into the eye through small incision the instrument uses ultrasound vibrations to break the cataract into small pieces which are the gently suctioned out. The new lens is the inserted in to the eye. No stitches are required. This minimal Surgery allows faster and safer healing
- Femto – Laser / Bladefree Cataract surgery(Robotic)
This is the most advanced treatment in cataract surgery. It can be customized according to patient eye condition and more predictable and accurate in cases of premium IOL like multifocal IOL and Toric IOL.
Please consult your doctor and discuss with him which method of surgery is most suitable for your Case
Planning for surgery
Cataract should not be fully mature or patient should be totally blind for the cataract to get operated. The decision to have a cataract surgery depends upon whether it is limiting your vision and quality of life. You and your ophthalmologist should jointly decide on the time and type of cataract surgery suitable for your eye (depending type of cataract)
At our institute our counselors will help you to understand the pre-operative procedures / Type of IOL lens available / suitable for your eye and obtain an estimate of the expenditure involved. Prior to your surgery you will need to undergo some routine medical and blood test.
Please inform your doctor regarding any previous eye surgery like Lasik for removal of eye spectacles done and please provide your previous prescription it available.
Frequently asked Questions
- Are there any ways to prevent cataracts?
Currently, there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, there is only one way to achieve clear vision again, and that is to physically remove the cataract or cloudy lens inside the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
- Is cataract surgery painful?
Eye drops to numb the eye are administered before surgery to make the procedure more comfortable for you. At the time of cataract surgery patient may feel some heaviness in eye .
- I have cataracts in both eyes. Can they be treated on the same day?
No. Surgery on each eye is performed on separate days, but often within a week or two of each other.
- How long does cataract surgery take? How long will I have to stay there?
While the cataract procedure itself only takes 10‐20 minutes, you should plan on being at the surgical facility for several hours to accommodate for admission, a short pre‐op, physical and time to dilate our eyes. After your procedure, post‐operative instructions will be reviewed with you and the responsible adult who accompanied you. You will be required to bring someone with you who can drive you home after surgery.
- How will my eye feel and what will my vision be like right after surgery?
Your eye may feel scratchy, watery, and irritated after surgery. Your vision may also be a little blurry. These symptoms will gradually improve over the next 24‐48 hours. It may take several weeks for your vision to stabilize as your eye continues to heal.
- How long until I can resume normal activities?
Following cataract surgery, patients are told to rest the remainder of the day. Patients should have someone drive them home. Many patients can return to work and usual activities within a few days.
- How soon will I be able to drive?
Most patients can resume driving within the next few days.
- Will I need glasses after surgery?
If you choose to have standard cataract surgery which corrects your distance vision, patients may still require glasses or bifocals for most activities. However, Toric, multifocal or presbyopia-correcting IOLs improve the chances of being less dependent on glasses. If you have a desire to be less dependent on glasses, talk to your doctor about these custom cataract lenses.
- Can my cataract return?
The cataract cannot come back once it is removed. The capsule that is left behind to hold the implant can become cloudy over time leading to what is referred to as a secondary cataract or posterior capsular opacification (PCO). This is treated using a YAG laser and is a painless procedure that only takes a few minutes. This procedure is not included with your cataract surgery.
- Will the implant ever need to be replaced?
In the majority of cases, the implant will never need to be removed or replaced. However, certain conditions may warrant an IOL exchange. These conditions are rare.