Once cataract is diagnosed, surgical treatment is usually recommended at the point where the patient's vision has declined to a level that it interferes with daily activities, without the need for the cataract to mature. However, in certain cases where there are associated complications or potential risks of complications, an early or urgent operation may be required, and the advice of the Consulting Eye Surgeon should be followed. The standard procedures for cataract treatment include phacoemulsification with foldable IOL, small incision cataract surgery (SICS) with intra-ocular lens implantation, and conventional surgery (extracapsular cataract surgery-ECCE), which is now virtually obsolete.
At Amar Jain Hospital, our expert team of eye surgeons ensures that each case is thoroughly examined and the appropriate surgical procedure is selected to provide maximum benefit to the patient.
Cataracts are caused when the protein in the lens clumps together, forming a cloudy area that can grow and impair vision. The exact cause of cataracts is still unknown, but researchers have identified some potential factors, such as aging, smoking, diabetes, and a lack of certain vitamins and minerals. Exposure to UV light is also believed to play a role in the development of cataracts.
The lens is primarily composed of water and protein, with the protein arranged to allow light to pass through and focus on the retina. As the protein begins to clump together, it can cloud a small area of the lens and eventually progress to cover more of the lens, leading to vision difficulties.
In younger people, cataract can occur due to various reasons, including eye diseases such as uveitis, general diseases like diabetes, heredity, injury, radiation, infections, and more. In older people, cataract may be a result of the natural aging process.
The common symptoms of cataract include cloudy or blurred vision, problems with light such as glare or halo around lights, faded colors, double or multiple vision, and frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lenses. These symptoms may also indicate other eye problems, so it is important to consult an eye surgeon if any of these occur. In early stages, cataracts may not cause any noticeable changes in vision. Vision typically worsens gradually as the cataract grows, although some people may experience temporary improvement in near vision before it worsens again.
Amar Jain Hospital explains that cataracts can be classified into four types, including:
Amar Jain Hospital explains that cataracts may be caused by several factors such as age, genetics, eye diseases, injuries, and certain health conditions like diabetes or steroid use. Treatment is usually surgical and may include procedures such as Phacoemulsification with foldable IOL, Small Incision Cataract Surgery with IOL Implantation, or Conventional Surgery (ECCE). In some cases, early or urgent surgery may be recommended based on the advice of the consulting eye surgeon.
Prior to undergoing laser cataract surgery, several tests are conducted to measure the curvature and length of the eyeball using an ultrasound machine. This helps in determining the appropriate power of the intraocular lens (IOL) to be implanted. Additionally, other general fitness tests such as blood work, urine tests, ECG, and others may be performed to ensure that the patient is fit for surgery.
The decision to have cataract surgery is usually made by the patient based on their visual needs and how much their cataract affects their daily activities. Phacoemulsification is a common surgical technique used to remove cataracts, which involves making a small incision and using sound waves to break up and remove the lens. Intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) are then implanted to replace the natural lens, providing clear vision without the need for thick glasses. Multifocal IOLs can provide clear vision at multiple distances, but may have some disadvantages. SICS is another type of cataract surgery that is faster and more comfortable than traditional surgery. The success of cataract surgery also depends on factors such as the condition of the eye, the quality of the operation theatre, and the presence of systemic diseases.
It is important to report any unusual symptoms or discomfort after cataract surgery to the eye surgeon immediately. This is because any complication, though rare, can be serious and may require prompt treatment to avoid any potential harm to the eye. Some of the warning signs that may indicate a problem include severe pain, sudden loss of vision, increasing redness or swelling in the eye, flashes of light or sudden onset of floaters, or any unusual discharge or bleeding from the eye. The surgeon will examine the eye and may perform additional tests to diagnose and treat the problem.
It is necessary to undergo regular eye check-ups after reaching 50 years of age in order to identify any eye diseases early on and receive prompt cataract treatment if necessary. While wearing sunglasses with UV protection may help prevent exposure to UV rays, there is no evidence to support this claim. The term 'cataract' often generates anxiety, misconceptions, and fear, and this brochure is designed to dispel these myths and provide information about cataracts and modern cataract surgery methods.