A cataract is a group of eye disorders that lead to the cloudy appearance of the eye lens which is normally transparent. This cloudy appearance of the eye lens leads to blurred vision and vision loss. A cataract starts developing when proteins, which are present in the eye accumulate to form clumps that which then hinder with the clarity of images formed on the retina. The retina functions by converting the light coming through the eye lens into optical signals that form the image. These signals are then sent to the optic nerve, which is further carried to the brain.
Although most cataracts are age-related and develop after the age of 60-70, however, congenital cataracts can also be present at the birth or could even appear a while after during infancy or childhood. Cataracts can appear either in the single eye or both eyes, however, chances of them developing in both eyes are not so high. Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with cataract and the number has been increasing. Thus, cataract surgery is a common and frequently adopted procedure by the eye surgeons which has a good success rate.
There are many visible symptoms of cataract, especially when one starts getting problems related to reading or driving in the night.
People with cataracts may have the following symptoms:
There are can be many causes of cataracts. These include:
There are mainly four types of cataract that occur to a human eye other than age-related cataracts. They are:
Secondary Cataract: As the name suggests, this type of cataracts develop from secondary conditions like the eye surgery of glaucoma, or due to other health-related problems like diabetes, high steroid intake.
Traumatic Cataract: A severe eye injury can make it the eye more vulnerable to catch a cataract.
Radiation Cataract: Exposure to several harmful radiations can lead to cataract formation.
Congenital Cataract: Cataract that is present from birth, most often present in both eyes. Congenital cataract may not greatly affect vision, but if it does, cataract surgery may be needed.
The doctor will recommend you a cataract surgery when your daily activities such as driving or reading are hampered by the loss in vision. Sometimes, when the eye has multiple problems including cataract, the cataract surgery is performed first before other eye problems are treated. In the cataract surgery, the cloudy lens present in the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial and clear lens. This is an intraocular implant or an intraocular lens. This is known as phacoemulsification or phaco-extracapsular extraction.
The doctor first administers regional anaesthesia in order to numb the site of operation. As the anaesthesia starts kicking in and the area becomes numb, the eye surgeon begins by making a small incision in the cornea at the front. After the cut is made, the doctor then inserts a small probing device into it which uses the ultrasound, thereby breaking up the cloudy formation in the lens into tiny pieces which are eventually sucked out. The eye surgeon then inserts the artificial lens through the cut. The news lens inserted also has a capsule which holds it in place. The lens is first folded when inserted through the cut. After it enters the eye, the doctor adjusts it to unfold it. The entire cataract surgery procedure takes about 30 minutes. And patients can be discharged the same day.
Yet, there is no scientific consensus on preventing cataracts or stopping their growth after they have formed. Several approaches, however, have been suggested by medical professionals as potentially valid.
Get your eyes checked often. If you aren't sure how frequently you should have your eyes checked, see your doctor. Regular eye exams may detect cataracts and other forms of eye disease in their early stages.
Take care of your overall health, not just your current symptoms. If you have diabetes or any health problem that might raise your risk of cataracts, you must adhere to your doctor's treatment plan.
Put down the cigarette. If you want advice on how to quit smoking, ask your doctor. You can get aid, including medication, therapy, and other methods.
Antioxidants in tablet form have not been shown to prevent cataracts in scientific studies. However, recent considerable population research found that eating a diet high in healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and minerals was linked to a lower chance of acquiring cataracts. Eating more veggies and fruits is a healthy method to gain more of the vitamins and nutrients you need without putting your health at risk.
Pick a diet high in healthful foods like fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables come in a wide range of colors, and eating a wide variety of them may help you acquire the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are beneficial to eye health.
Curb your drinking. Cataract risk is increased with heavy alcohol use.
Put on your shades. Sun-emitted ultraviolet rays have been linked to cataract formation. Sunglasses that protect against UVB rays should be used while spending time outside.
The recovery from cataract surgery can take up to a few days before you resume your daily activities. The activities to avoid during the first one-week post cataract surgery are:
Cataracts develop when there is a degenerative problem with the eye's lens or as white water in the eyes. Usually, the lens bends light entering the eye, focusing it onto the retina and sending a picture to the brain through the optic nerve. Refractive defects like nearsightedness, poor eyesight, and astigmatism may result from the lens's shape modifications.
At first, you may think you have a refractive problem since you can't seem to get your eyes to focus well. But your optometrist can identify the problem and track the development of cataracts. Cataract formation indicates lens protein degradation.
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Nearly everyone who has cataract surgery experiences a positive visual outcome. Patients who have undergone cataract surgery risk a new cataract forming. This frequent problem is recognized in the medical community as posterior capsule opacification. This occurs when cloudiness develops at the rear of the lens capsule, obscuring your vision. This capsule is what remains of your natural lens after cataract surgery; it now serves as a support for your lens implant.
PCO may be treated using a non-invasive outpatient technique called yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser capsulotomy. To let light flow through the clouded capsule, YAG laser capsulotomy uses a laser beam to create a tiny hole. This process takes about five minutes and does not cause any discomfort. The doctor will want you to wait approximately an hour after the treatment to monitor your eye pressure. Other concerns are uncommon, although they might include a rise in ocular pressure or a retinal detachment.