Cataract is a type of eye disease. In this ophthalmologic condition, the lenses become cloudy and opaque and this causes a disturbance in the vision of the person. Cataracts are common, often develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes, especially when aging.
Cataracts are formed when protein and water accumulate in the eyes. As people age, around 50-60, these proteins start to build up and accumulate as clouds, thus blurs the vision. Cataracts may also develop due to other medical conditions, like diabetes, from intake of medicines such as corticosteroids or diuretics and also due to ultraviolet light, or radiation. These are called secondary cataracts. Cataracts can also be inherited right from birth or due to some injury.
The most prominent symptom of cataract is blurred cloudy foggy, or filmy vision. Changes in color reception and nearsightedness are two common symptoms in elderly people. People face glare problem during the day and night, perceive double vision and have troubles with lenses and eye glasses.
In the early stages of cataract, vision can be improved using new glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids. This way, further cataract can be prevented. But in the later stages, surgeries are performed to remove cataract. Cataract surgery is simple and painless and very successful in restoring vision. There are three standard forms of surgery for cataracts – a standard monofocal intraocular lens (IOL), a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) or an accommodating lens.
In order to diagnose cataract, the doctor will go through the medical history and recommend several diagnostic tests. These tests include visual acuity test, slit lamp examination and retinal examination. A special device called an ophthalmoscope is also used to examine the lens for signs of a cataract.
Cataract can be treated in two ways, depending on the severity of the condition. In the initial stages, the blur or fuzzy vision can be cured with the help of glasses and contact lenses. In this case, no surgical operation is needed. If glasses fail to clear to vision impairment, then surgery is the only method to remove the protein cloud formation on the retina and clear the vision. Cataract surgery is done as an outpatient basis and is simple and painless. In cataract surgery, the protein clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. This artificial lens is called an intraocular lens and is positioned in the same place as the natural lens. It remains a permanent part of the eye. If both eyes have cataracts and surgery needs to be done on both of them, the surgery on the second eye is generally planned at least a week after the first eye. This is done to help regain comfort and proper vision in the first operated eye. After operation, the person may feel discomfort for a few days but this goes away in a week’s time.
People should immediately consult a doctor when they develop symptoms of cataract or any visual problems or disturbances. Sudden vision changes, such as blurred or foggy vision, double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache need to be supervised by ophthalmologists.
Surgical operations for cataract or blurred vision may not be needed if visual aids like glasses and contact lenses can improve vision. First or earlier stages do not require much treatment and cataract can be prevented from worsening vision further.
There are some complications associated with cataract surgery. It carries a risk of infection and bleeding. Cataract surgery increases the risk of retinal detachment and endophthalmitis. People face decrease in vision along with pain in both the cases. Their vision gets blurred along with unilateral visual field defects, flashes of light, or floating spots. People may also face less serious but more common problems like corneal edema and cystoid macular edema. These occur because of persistent swelling at the front of the eye in corneal edema or back of the eye in cystoid macular edema. Even after months or years after successful cataract surgery, people may face problems like vision deterioration or problems with glare and light scattering. This is called posterior lens capsule opacification which occurs due to thickening of the back or posterior capsule surrounding the implanted lens. When small parts of natural lens remain I the eyes after removal, cells start growing and cause this defect.
Healing generally occurs within eight weeks, which is a comparatively short time period. Patients are advised to be more cautious and avoid straining their eyes for at least one month post operation. Patients are also advised to use eye shields and eye patches for some times after the surgery to avoid any complication. Eye drops according to doctor’s advice must be taken regularly. People must be extra cautious to prevent water, soap and pressure on the eyes.
Cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis, that is, the patients go home on the day of surgery itself. Healing generally takes a short period of time and is around eight weeks. On the initial days, people feel discomfort but this goes away as the person gets more used to the artificial lens. Vision also gets clearer with passing days, unless there be other complications or eye related problems.
Initial stage cataract which do not require surgical operations are less expensive as these can be treated with glasses, contact lens use etc. But, cost of surgical operations for cataract treatment is high and involves around Rs 1,50,000- RS. 2,00,000/-.
Unless there be any other eye diseases like glaucoma, treatments for cataract are permanent. Cataract surgery is simple and painless and yields permanent results with rare complications. After cataract surgery, people get clearer vision and blurs and clouds from the eyes disappear.
There are alternative ways to treat cataract. Apart from surgery, ayurvedic treatment also helps to reverse cataract. Taking proper intake of balanced diet will also help cure cataract. In Ayurveda, cataract is known as timira or linga nasha. Early stages of cataract can be effectively treated with Ayurveda. Foods like eggs, fish (fatty fish like salmon) , green leaves, fruits like avocado, bell peppers, carrots etc. help to reverse cataract and prevent it. Changes in the lifestyle like increasing light in the house, limiting night driving, keeping diabetes under control also helps to prevent cataracts and provides longevity of vision.
500- Rs 5,00,000 /-
Diabetes is a condition characterized by an elevated level of the blood glucose due to the insufficient production of the Insulin by the Beta cells of the pancreas. The high blood glucose level can also be an outcome of the inability of the body cells to utilize or respond to the insulin produced - a condition termed as Insulin Resistance.
Today, Diabetes has become a raging problem affecting almost every second individual, irrespective of their age, sex or ethnicity. What is even worse is the fact that the metabolic disorder affects a host of the vital body organs including the eyes. In many diabetic patients (diabetes left unmanaged and uncontrolled for long), the high blood sugar or Hyperglycemia can give rise to many eye complications such as:
Thus, it becomes essential to carry out the preventive measure to deal with diabetes-related eye problems and the associated complications.
Protecting the eyes from Diabetes
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We all have only a pair of eyes, so it is imperative that one understands the importance of vision. When the normally clear lens of one’s eye becomes clouded, the condition is known as cataract. A person suffering from cataract finds his vision to be hazy, discoloured and blurred somewhat like looking outside a frosted window. It causes difficulty in reading, driving a vehicle or seeing the familiar expression on a loved one’s face.
It is a silent killer of vision and initially magnification and lighting in addition to vision aids are helpful, but eventually a surgery becomes imminent.
The exact reason for cataract are debatable, but one can take measures to protect oneself, boost one’s eyes’ defence mechanisms, and protect them from harmful elements. Ultra violet (UV) light has been correlated with incidents of cataract and has a damaging effect on one’s eyes. This requires one to wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays when one is outdoors. Smoking also increases the risk of cataract thus giving one another reason to stay away from active as well as passive smoking.
One must include antioxidants as zeaxanthin, vitamin C, lutein and vitamin A in daily diet to counteract with the daily damage. The addition of a variety of fruits and vegetables to one’s diet ensures that one is getting many vitamins and nutrients. The health of the eyes can be maintained with fruits and vegetables as they have many antioxidants. One must go for eye examination to ophthalmologists in a time bound and regular manner so to detect the onset of cataract at the earliest.
One must maintain a healthy weight by reducing the calorie intake. Excessive consumption of alcohol also increases the risk of cataract. If one is suffering with other health conditions like hypertension and diabetes, it becomes all the more important that one must follow the treatment plan diligently. The exposure to ionizing radiation like X-rays and cancer treatment via chemotherapy increase the risk of cataract.
Cataract develops when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up one’s eye's lens while some cataract are due to inherited genetic disorders causing other health problems. In some cases eye conditions, medical conditions such as diabetes, long term usage of steroids, trauma or past eye surgery also leads to cataracts.
As one ages, the eye lenses become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Ageing causes break down and clumping together of tissues within the eye lens leading to clouding small areas within the lens. As the cataract continues to develop, the clouding becomes denser and involves a greater part of the lens. Thus, although one cannot prevent cataract, but if one takes the above mentioned steps, then he can reduce the risks of getting it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.
Cataract usually affects people who are above 40. It is a blurring of the eye’s lens, which lies at the back of pupil and iris. It is the most usual cause behind the loss of vision for people above 40. Research also states that it is a major cause of blindness in the world.
Types of cataracts:
Cause of cataract:
The lens inside our eyes acts like a camera and it is made of protein and water. The protein helps in keeping the lens clear. But with aging, the protein may start to form a lump, which causes cloudiness in the eye area. With time the cataract spreads all over the lens and creates more cloudiness, which ultimately leads to blindness. The factors which usually trigger cataract are
Prevention of cataract:
It cannot be guaranteed whether cataract can be prevented or not. A study shows that cataract is caused due to the oxidative changes in the lens of the eye. Nutrition studies have shown that consuming vegetables and fruits, which are high in antioxidants, may help in preventing cataract. Dietary intake of vitamin E, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin from supplements and food items can decrease the risk of developing a cataract. Sunflower seeds, spinach and almonds are good sources of vitamin E. Kale, spinach, other leafy green veggies are the good sources of zeaxanthin and lutein. Food items that contain Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C decrease the chances of cataract.
Last, but not the least, when you step out, always wear a sunglasses, which has the ability to block UV rays. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.
Cataracts are a common eye problem experienced by the elderly. In some cases, babies may also be born with cataract as a congenital defect or it may develop as a result of conditions such as diabetes. Cataracts can affect one or both eyes and is characterized by the clouding of the lens in the eye. This can make it difficult to see clearly and if not treated in time can lead to blindness.
Common symptoms of cataract include:
An eye examination is the first step to diagnosing cataracts. To confirm a diagnosis the doctor will also dilate the pupil to check the lens. Most cataracts can be easily treated with surgery. This surgery involves the separation of the cataract from the lens and its removal after which an intraocular lens implant is placed in the eye. In cases where this cannot be used, corrective contact lenses or glasses will need to be used. One of the most popular methods of cataract surgery is known as phaco surgery or phacoemulsification.
This surgery involves making two, small incisions on the eye where the cornea meets the sclera. This is then used to create a circular opening in the lens through which a probe is inserted into the eye. Sound waves or laser is then used to break the cataract into small pieces. This is then removed from the eyes and an intraocular lens implant is put in its place. Stitches are rarely required for this surgery and it is usually performed as an outpatient procedure while the patient is under local anaesthesia. When treating cataract, both eyes are usually not addressed simultaneously.
This surgery is usually pain free. The operated eye may be bandaged overnight and the patient will be given a protective eye shield to be worn for a week. The doctor will ask you to get a check up 2-3 days after the surgery where they can evaluate the clarity of the lens, overall health of the eye, eye pressure and visual acuity.
Cataract surgery is generally considered to be a safe surgery but like any other surgery there are risks involved. Some of the possible complications of this type of surgery include:
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.
A cataract is defined as a clouding of lens in the eye where your vision gets blurred. A cataract affects the eyes, when light that passes through the lens prevents a clearly formed image from reaching your retina. The disease is very common and usually, develops as your eyes age or due to any injury caused to the tissues that cover your eye's lens.
Types of cataracts:
A cataract surgery involves the extraction or cleaning of the cloudy lens, which is then replaced by a clear artificial lens.
Why does it happen?
There are lenses that lies behind our iris and pupil which act much like a camera lens. It helps concentrate light onto the retina at the back of our eye to form a sharply defined image. Besides, the lens also helps our eyes to adjust focus and allows us to see things clearly both far away and up close. The lens is composed of protein and water where the protein is arranged in a manner to keep the lens clear thereby letting light pass through it.
However, as we grow old, some of the protein starts to become thick and cloud a small lens area. This is known as a cataract. With the passage of time, it may inflate and cover more of the lens, making it difficult for us to see.
Besides, there are other causes of cataract such as smoking, addiction of alcohol, prolonged sunlight exposure, to name a few.
When should you opt for a cataract surgery?
Believe it or not, but till date no eye drop or medication has proven to reverse or prevent the formation of a cataract. If a cataract is affecting your nearsightedness or alteration in your prescription, then new prescription eyeglasses may help to better your blurred vision. However, the only treatment for a cataract is the surgical removal of your natural lens. And, most eye doctors recommend this surgery only when the problem becomes severe and starts hampering your day-to-day activities, such as studying or driving at night.
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Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Normally, the lens of your eye is clear. A cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually affects your vision.
Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.
How a cataract affects your vision
Cataract surgery is performed to treat cataracts. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.
When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended. For example, doctors may recommend cataract surgery if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
In most cases, waiting to have cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever.
When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:
Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully.
Cataract surgery risks include:
Loss of vision
Your risk of complications is greater if you have another eye disease or a serious medical condition. Occasionally, cataract surgery fails to improve vision because of underlying eye damage from other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If possible, it may be beneficial to evaluate and treat other eye problems before making the decision to have cataract surgery.