The natural eye lens is crystal clear and transparent. But as we age, some of the protein in the eye may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the cataract may grow denser and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see. There are several causes of cataract, such as aging, excessive sunlight exposure, smoking, or diabetes.
Although cataracts can occur it people of all ages, they often do not begin to form until later in life. People can have an age-related cataract in their 40s and 50s. But during middle age, most cataracts are small and do not affect vision. It is after age 60 that most cataracts cause problems with a person’s vision. In some cases, cataracts can be present since birth. This is known as Congenital Cataract.
The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:
Cloudy or blurry vision.
Colours seem faded.
Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights.
Poor night vision.
Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets denser.)
Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care professional.
How are Cataracts Detected?
Ophthalmologist uses various techniques to understand presence, type and maturity of cataract.
Visual acuity test.
This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.
Dilated eye exam.
This is done to check the density and the area covered by the cataract and the health of your retina and nerves so that outcome of surgery can be predicted and explained to patient before surgery
Your eye care professional also may do other tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye.
How is a cataract treated?
In early stages, usually spectacles with sun protection UV coating may help to some extent. If the problem still remains the same then surgery is the only option where we remove the original lens and replace it with the artificial lens
Cataract Surgery is never an emergency unless and until when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. You and your eye doctor can make this decision together. Once you understand the benefits and risks of surgery, you are independent to take your decision.
When the surgery should become your priority?
Sometimes a cataract should be removed even if it does not cause problems with your vision. For example, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, lens induced angle closure glaucoma
How effective is the cataract surgery?
Cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed in the world. It also is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. In about 90 percent of cases, people who have cataract surgery have better vision afterward.
Risk in cataract Surgery
Although cataract surgery is very safe and predictable still there lies the risk during and after surgery.
Retinal Detachment is more of the major risk which one should understand. It is more likely to happen in people who have high spectacle power or has history of weak retina.
Person with Age Related macular degeneration, uncontrolled diabetes , hypertension are at risk of getting this problem during and after cataract surgery.
Another complication may arise due to infection in eyes after the surgery. Various reasons like unsterile Operation Theatre condition , Patient not following hygiene before touching the eyes or not taking the medication properly or visiting infectious places like hospitals and other crowded places immediately after the surgery are the ones who mainly face such problems.
How to prevent these risks and complications??
Before surgery process:
Once the testing is done properly and surgery date is decided there is eye drop which to be put prior to surgery.
Also the important pathological tests like blood sugar , urine test , ECG and physician fitness has to be cleared before the surgery, At Dada Laser Eye institute we do BLOODLESS, STICHLESS, INJECTIONLESS SURGERY, so you need not to stop any medication (unless advised by doctor).
What happens during surgery?
At the hospital once the paper formalities like checking the required reports, consents and other documentation is done you are taken to Operation theatre You are asked to change the dress and wear the OT dress which is clean and sterile. Later the area around your eye will be washed and cleansed.
The operation usually lasts less than 15 minutes and is almost painless. Many people choose to stay awake during surgery. Others may need to be put to sleep for a short time. If you are awake, you will have an anaesthetic to numb the nerves in and around your eye.
After the operation, you will rest for a while. Most people who have cataract surgery can go home the same day. You will need someone to drive you home. Follow-up will be on next day without fail.
Mild irritation discomfort and discharge is likely to happen immediately after surgery which subsides by evening. Also you may feel brightness and more light from the operated eye.
You are advised to be indoors for at least 2 days after surgery .Wear glares/ goggles to prevent any injury infection and reduce the brightness.
Take medication timely as advised.
Can problems develop after surgery?
Problems after surgery are rare, but they can occur. These problems can include infection, bleeding, inflammation (pain, redness, and swelling), loss of vision, double vision, and high or low eye pressure. With prompt medical attention, these problems can usually be treated successfully.
Sometimes the eye tissue that encloses the IOL becomes cloudy and may blur your vision. This condition is called an after-cataract. An after-cataract can develop months or years after cataract surgery.
An after-cataract is treated with a laser. Doctor does procedure is called a ND YAG laser capsulotomy. It is painless and rarely results in increased eye pressure or other eye problems. As a precaution, your doctor may give you eye drops to lower your eye pressure before or after the procedure.