A Clear look at the Cataract
What is Cataract?
A cataract is when the proteins in your eyes break and cause things to look blurry or hazy. It makes your natural lens cloudy.
Types Of Cataract
- A Nuclear Cataract causes nearsightedness at first and slowly turns cloudy with the period of time. It may affect your ability to identify colours.
- A Cortical Cataract is a Cataract which deals with the outer edge of the lens cortex. It slowly progresses and interferes with the light which passes through the centre of the lens.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts progress very fast and affect your vision faster compared to other types of cataract. It mainly affects the back area of the lens and makes it difficult to do activities which demand the focus of your vision, such as reading. It also creates glare around the light during the night.
- This type of Cataract is usually genetic and many people are born with them. This type of cataract does not always affect the vision but if they do they can be removed soon after the detection.
- Blurred vision.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Poor vision at night.
- Seeing ‘halos’ around lights.
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
- Double vision.
- Overproduction of oxidants.
- Excessive smoking.
- Radiation therapy.
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications.
- Statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol.
- Previous eye injury or inflammation.
- Hormone replacement therapy.
- Significant alcohol consumption.
- Family history.
- Increasing age.
- Overexposure to sunlight.
- A habit of smoking or drinking.
- Previous injury in the eye.
- Prolonged use of steroid or similar drugs.
- Visual acuity test
- A Visual acuity test uses an eye chart to measure the sharpness of the eye. Both the eyes are tested one at a time in this test. A chart with letters is used to determine the vision of a patient.
- Slit-lamp examination
- A slit lamp exam allows your doctor to check the different structures at the front end of your eye. The microscope uses a slit lamp to illuminate the cornea, iris, lens, and the space between the iris and the cornea.
- Retinal exam
- In this test, the doctor puts drops in the eye to open the pupils wide and uses the slit lamp to see the back of the eye clearly.
Surgery is the only treatment for cataract. The surgery includes removal of the cataractous lens and implanting a synthetic clear intraocular lens. The surgical procedure to remove a cataract is called Phacoemulsification or Phaco Surgery.
Cataract surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis, which means the patient does not need to stay in a hospital after the surgery. The surgical time is generally 15-20 minutes. The total time a patient spends in the hospital ranges from 3-4 hours including pre and post-operative care. During cataract surgery, the eye doctor uses local anaesthesia to numb the area around the eye. During the surgery Monofocal, Multifunctional/Trifocal or Toric Lens is used depending on the need of the patient.
After the procedure, you’ll have some discomfort for a few days. Healing generally occurs within a couple of weeks.
Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery
Phacoemulsification cataract surgery is a procedure in which an ultrasonic device is used to break and remove the cataract, from the eye to improve the vision.
Phacoemulsification or Phaco is used to restore the vision of patients whose vision has become cloudy from cataracts. During cataract eye surgery, the lens which has become cloudy is replaced with an artificial lens. This surgery helps to improve the vision of the patient dramatically.
Phaco surgery takes a very short period to perform and the recovery period of the patient is much less compared to the traditional surgeries.
- Rest for 24 hours after the surgery.
- Routine for application of eye drops should be maintained strictly.
- Use the protective white glasses which have been provided for one week.
- Protect your head and face from getting wet for one week while taking a bath.
- There is no specific diet restriction, walking around inside the house will show some quick improvement.
The operation cost of Cataract
The cost of cataract surgery varies somewhere between ₹ 25,000 to ₹ 1,10,000 depending on the type of IOL (Intraocular lens) that has been used during the surgery. MM Chokshi Eye Hospital offers a cashless facility through which you can opt for cataract operation without worrying about it getting heavy on your pockets!
When do I need to see the doctor?
Just go and see your doctor before you can’t!
Age-related cataracts are typically found in people once they cross 40. Over the years the protein in the eye starts forming up together and results in cataract. You need to see the doctor before following symptoms start to appear in your everyday life.
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Dual vision.
- Difficulty to see at night.
- Sensitivity towards brightness.
- Seeing halos around the light.
- Frequent changes in glass prescription.
Click here to know about Frequently Asked Questions about Cataract Surgery and Treatment.