For most people with poor vision from cataract, the opportunities of regaining good vision and resuming normal daily activities are excellent.
What is a cataract?
The term ‘cataract’ is used to describe the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The vision dims because the cataract prevents light from passing beyond the lens and focusing on the retina.
Common symptoms of a cataract:
Painless blurring of vision
Glare or light sensitivity
Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
Poor night vision
Needing a brighter light to read
Double vision in one eye
Common misconceptions cleared:
Cataract is not a film over the surface of the eye
It is not caused by overusing the eyes
It is not infectious and will not spread from one eye to the other
It is not a cancer
It is not a cause of irreversible blindness
What causes a cataract?
The most common cause is due to aging and referred to as a ‘senile cataract’.
Other common causes are:
Medical problems, such as diabetes
Long-term use of medications, such as steroids
Injury to the eye
Congenital, since birth
Previous eye surgery
Long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight
How is a cataract detected?
A thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist detects the presence and the extent of a cataract. Other conditions that could additionally compromise vision can also be detected, particularly problems involving the cornea, retina or the optic nerve.
How fast does a cataract develop?
Cataract development varies among individuals and may even vary between the two eyes. Most cataracts associated with the aging process develop over years. Cataracts in younger patients and in those with diabetes may develop more rapidly.
How do you treat a cataract?
Surgery is the only way a cataract can be treated. No dietary supplements, medications, exercises or optical devices have been proven to prevent or cure cataract.
When should surgery be done?
Surgery should be considered when the cataract causes visual disturbance enough to interfere with daily activities. Based on these needs and the examination findings, the patient and the ophthalmologist should decide together when surgery is appropriate. Cataracts need not be mature or ‘ripe’ before removal.
What should you expect from a cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is a day care, microscopic surgery performed under anaesthesia eye drops or local anaesthesia. The cloudy lens is removed leaving its capsule behind, within which a permanent, artificial intraocular lens is implanted. Today, there are a wide range of intraocular lens implants available, which not only replace the cataract, but also give visual advantages with better near vision, improved night vision and also can reduce or eliminate the need for spectacles post surgery. After cataract surgery, you can return immediately to almost all routine activities. Medication must be administered as per the instructions of your cataract surgeon or ophthalmologist.
Low stress cataract surgery at Shroff Eye:
The entire surgical experience at our centres has been designed to help patients and their families be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This “patient first, family-friendly” approach is at the heart of the surgical experience. Your family will have an opportunity to view your live cataract surgery.
Phacoemulsification is a micro-incision technique of cataract surgery wherein an ultrasound probe breaks the cataract into tiny pieces and sucks them out. The foldable lens implant is inserted through a very small incision (2.8 – 3.0 mm) as compared to an approximately 5 mm incision to accommodate a non-foldable lens. The incision are self-sealing and needs no stitches. Your ophthalmologist will help you decide as to which lens implant is most suitable for you.
Benefits to you:
Smaller incision resulting in faster healing and visual rehabilitation
Reduced surgical time
No stitch surgery.
Painless or minimal post-operative discomfort
A quick return to your normal routine.
Click here to watch a cataract surgery video
Can a cataract be treated with medicines or a laser?
No. Since the cataract occurs within the lens matter of the eye, no medication stops the progress of or treats the cataract. There is no medical or laser treatment for cataract other than replacing this lens with a surgery.
However, in layman terms today’s modern cataract surgery is called ‘laser cataract surgery’ as there are no stitches, although there is no actual use of the laser. The cataract is dissolved using ultrasound waves from an equipment and is medically termed ‘phacoemulsification’.
Today’s procedures are quick, not taking more than 20 minutes of surgical time, pain free under topical (only eye drops) or local anaesthesia. Ask your ophthalmologist if you are eligible for topical aneasthesia.
Are there any complications of cataract surgery?
At our centres, we follow the highest standards of healthcare and strict protocols of infection control. We understand your fears regarding an eye surgery, but you stand a greater risk of not doing cataract surgery when required, as the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to treat the cataract easily and there is a greater chance of surgical complications.
Standard Vs Premium Lens Implants?
Multifocal and Accomodative Implants are a new technology in cataract treatment wherein you can gain additional benefit of reducing your dependence on reading glasses.
Standard Lens Implants
Single focus- usually distant
100% need for reading glasses
Insurance usually covers the cost
Premium Lens Implants
Multiple focuses- near, intermediate and distant
Reduces or eliminates need for reading glasses
May be reimbursed partially by insurance
Lens Implants available at Shroff Eye:
Monofocal: AMO Sensar / Akreos / Rycef /Matrix/ Alcon Expanse
Monofocal Wavefront : AMO Tecnis / Akreos AO / Zeiss ZO/Acrysof Alcon IQ
Monofocal Microincision: Bausch and Lomb MIL
Monofocal Toric: Alcon / Zeiss
Multifocal: Tecnis / Restor / Rezoom/ Zeiss
Multifocal Toric: Alcon / Zeiss