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Total or partial opacification of transparent lens of the eye is termed as cataract. Such opacification essentially occurs in old age but it can occur in children or young age due to diabetes, trauma, congenital causes, use of steroid drops in the eyes or secondary to glaucoma.
Cataract affects vision depending upon its degree and location. Very slight cataract at the posterior pole can obstruct central vision and cause marked glare blindness or inability to read small letters whereas, cataract in the cortical area may take long time to affect vision.
Treatment: no medicines can cure cataract. Once it occurs, it has to be operated.
When to get operated?
When you are professionally blind or unable to carry out your routine duties/work. A driver or a watch repairer has to operate very early due to glare blindness whereas an old lady can wait for some time. It is ideal to get the surgery done with immature or early cataract than to wait for the cataract to get mature. A mature or hypermature cataract is difficult and risky to operate.
Phacoemulsification with ultrasonic rays is the modern method os surgery. You get only 2-3 mm of an incision, no sutures. The lens is emulsified and aspirated and a foldable IOL (lens) is injected by a syringe which unfolds and occupy the same space as your original lens. 10 minutes surgery with practically no pain. This lens lasts for a life time and gives you youthful vision.
The surgery can be performed even in patients with diabetes or hypertension and at any age. Maybe 90-100. Practically no post-op restrictions.