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Last Updated: Feb 24, 2020
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Cataracts: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

About Types Signs Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment Side Effects Recovery Price Results Prevention Alternatives Home Remedies

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is defined as a clouding of the 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.

In general, after the age of 60 years, there is a condition that occurs in the eye where protein builds up as a cloud in it. This condition is very common in older people of age group of 50-80 years.

Cataract is affecting vision of patient causing view like looking through a frosty or fogged up window with reduced vision or sometime complete loss of vision. As mentioned already, clump of protein are formed in area of lens which is unable to send clear images to retina and retina’s function gets disturbed.

In some cases, people face this condition in both eyes at the same time or else with a gap of certain period of time and this disease does not spread from one eye to another eye. Cataract condition of eye, in many cases considered as basic cause of blindness if left untreated. For getting rid out of this protein formed in eyes, patients have undergone surgery. Some of the causes of the disease are the old age, other causes of cataract such as smoking, addiction of alcohol, prolonged sunlight exposure, to name a few.

What are the different types of cataracts?

Basically, there are four types of cataracts depending upon the causes behind it and it is mentioned as below:

  • Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts:

    This is one of the most common types of cataract in which lens starts to get hard and the central zone gets yellow thus expanding to the other layers of the lens. When Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract changes with time, then the eyes ability of close-up vision or focusing changes and may also temporarily improve. The improvement of vision is referred to as second sight but is not permanent.

  • Cortical Cataract:

    This takes shape on the outer edge of the lens called cortex. They start at the center of your eye as white wedges like a triangle. While they grow they start scattering the light, thus making difficulty in night vision.

  • Congenital Cataract:

    This is a form of cataract which is due to genetics problems or associated with intrauterine infection or trauma.

  • Posterior subcapsular cataract:

    This forms at the back of the lens and it surrounds and holds the lens from back thus making the path of life difficult. The symptoms of this cataract can be seen faster than any other as they affect the close vision and make hard to see things in bright light.

What is the first sign of cataracts?

Clouding up of the normal eye lens is the first sign of cataract and people start to have problems seeing through cloudy vision. When the vision becomes blurred it becomes difficult for the person to read, write or drive especially at night. The person becomes sensitive to light and requires brighter lights for reading. There can be some more symptoms like doubling of vision and fading or yellowing of colors.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Due to effect on lens of the eye, cataract symptoms can be clouded, blurred or dim vision, faded colors, feeling of sensitivity to headlights, sun lights, lamps and glare, formation of “halos” around lights, double vision or multiple image formation of eye, nearsightedness, trouble with spectacles and/or contact lenses as not working well, requirement of brighter light for reading and other activities. Medical professionals are also considering signs of this as common symptoms of other eye problems, too.

Severe symptoms can be observed only after the protein cloud covers more area of lens. Firstly, this cloud will just affect small portion of lens and person cannot easily recognize any vision loss. Starting of blurry vision creates a picture of impressionist painting or a view like looking through a cloudy piece of glass. Some signs are also depends on what type of cataract is formed, for example second sight is a temporary improvement in near vision faced during nuclear cataract.

What are the Causes of Cataracts?

  • Lenses of eyes are performing similar function as camera lens and focusing light onto the retina for creating clear vision. Cataract is affecting the lens of eye which is due to aging or an injury changes the tissue of lens.
  • The condition can be overviewed if a person is experiencing environmental factors such as ultraviolet rays, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, previous eye surgery, personal behaviour like alcohol and tobacco use, prolonged use of certain medicines like statins and corticosteroids, hormone replacement therapy, family history etc.
  • 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.

How to Diagnose Cataract?

Health professionals can diagnose cataract condition by firstly examining eyes of patients. They will dilate the pupil of eye to have a clear view about the lens and other parts of eye.

They can also go for visual acuity test (measures how well a person can see at various distances) and tonometry (the instrument measures the pressure inside the eye). Many professional are also determining by checking the sensitivity of eye to glare and other forms of light along with identifying perception of colors by person.

How is the Cataract Treatment Done?

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. The 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.

Who is Eligible for the Treatment of Cataract?

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.

Who is not Eligible for the Cataract Treatment?

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.

Are there any Side Effects of Cataract Surgery?

There are some complications associated with cataract surgery. It carries a risk of infection and bleeding. It 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.

What are the Post-Treatment Guidelines For Cataract?

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.

How Should I Sleep After Cataract Surgery?

After Cataract surgery, person should sleep with protective eye covering. Person should not sleep on the side eye being operated. Patient may feel sleepy after surgery and he should sleep with the protective shield placed over eye for several days or as per recommended by surgeon. A complete sleep should be taken after application of eye drops in operated eye to avoid pain if persist any. A person facing sleep problems once undergoing cataract surgery is more likely reported improved sleep patterns.

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

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.

What is the Price of the Treatment in India?

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

Are the Results of the Treatment Permanent?

Unless there be any other eye diseases like glaucoma, treatments for cataract are permanent. It is simple and painless and yields permanent results with rare complications. After surgery, people get clearer vision and blurs and clouds from the eyes disappear.

How can you prevent cataracts from getting worse?

These are the ways in which cataracts can be prevented:

  • Eating the right food:

    People who are diabetic are on the verge of getting cataract faster, therefore, people need to maintain their sugar level. Patients must eat lots of green leafy vegetables and eating foods rich in antioxidants like selenium, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and E may also help.

  • Keeping a check on your habits:

    One must keep healthy habits if he or she is suffering from cataract. It is said that people who smoke increase their chances of getting cataracts.

  • Protecting eyes from the sun:

    The eyes must be protected from Ultraviolet rays as it is harmful to the eyes with cataract. Therefore to protect eyes from sun sunglasses should be worn and they must be UV rays protectant.

  • Regularly visiting your eye doctor:

    Even if a person is not having any problem in the eyes then also regular visits to the eye specialist should be made. If you are having cataract then visiting a doctor is a healthy habit.

What are the Alternatives to the Treatment?

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 it. 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 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.

What is the Home Remedies After Cataract Surgery?

Ginger tea

  • Ginger tea not solely tastes smart however conjointly helps in treating respiratory disorder and cough.

Mixture of lemon, cinnamon and honey

  • Another effective home remedy for respiratory disorder and cough could be a mixture of lemon, cinnamon and honey.
  • This syrup effectively cures cold and cough.

Luke-warm water

  • Drink luke-warm water frequently as it helps in fighting against common cold, cough and sore throat.
  • Warm water reduces inflammation within the throat and helps in replenishing the fluids and infection out of the body.

Milk and turmeric

  • An essential ingredient found in the majority Indian kitchens, turmeric has a strong antioxidant which helps in treating many health problems.
  • Turmeric mixed in heat milk could be a common and effective thanks to fight against cold and cough.

Gargle with salt-water

  • This is an old medical aid that effectively treats cough and cold.
  • Adding turmeric in this salt-water is also beneficial.

Honey and brandy

  • Brandy is known to keep your chest warm as it increases the body's temperature and mixing honey in brandy helps in fighting a cough.

Spiced tea

  • Add tulsi, ginger and black pepper while preparing your tea and this spiced tea is great for your health.
  • These 3 ingredients play a very important role in fighting a typical cold and cough.
  • Honey, lime juice and warm water
  • This is an ideal dose to enhance digestion and for the circulation system.
  • Adding honey to luke-lime water is that the best resolution in dominant respiratory disorder and cough.

Flaxseeds for cold and cough

  • Flaxseeds are another effective remedy to cure common cold and cough. You can boil flax seeds until it thickens and strain it.
  • Add a couple of drops of juice and honey to that and consume the mixture for cold and cough relief.

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir/ madam I am sekhar. I have dysthymia, anxiety disorder, moderate mania, l5-s1, slipped disc, urge incontinence (overactivebladder) chronic fatigue syndrome. Last 18 years I tired so many medicines 3 months due to I discontinued medicines. I am severe lazy and very severe procrastinate. Last 6 months back psychiatrist gave me tab duloxetine20 mg, tab olanzapine 5 mg, divalproex sodium500. For 20 days. I take these medicines now. Due to corona situation I don't want to consult psychiatrist. How continue and increase dosages. I am a pharmacist. Age 40 years. Can I take lamictal instead of divalproex sodium. Quetiapine or olanzapine which is the beat for me.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health (PGDMH), Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry, (DCP), Member of College of Psychiatrists,Ireland, (MCPsychI), Master of Psychiatry - MPSY
Psychiatrist, Dehradun
Dear sekhar, what are your current dosages of psychotropics and the clear indication of each? What are your current active symptoms, though it is understandable that you have bipolar disorder but what type, I don’t know yet. As being a pharmacis...

I was diagnosed with ocd, I was judging feelings emotions whether it comes or not or whether I am feeling emotions or not like anger, sadness, happiness, excitement and kisses and after that I was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder and suffering from 1 yr+ but. I was so negative that I was suffering from dry eyes and conjunctivitis and have a feeling that I will lost my eyes and optic nerve will get damaged and my hand was injured but when I was in pain I felt like doctor will not be able to cure it they will cut it to save my life but in 20 dec 2020 I got an article about post finasteride syndrome, here my night mare starts I am a prone masturbation I masturbate each day 3 times minimum with no pleasure but unable to stop it even during my depression period, I was worried about my orthodox type masturbation, but here doctor you also need to know about my finasteride journey 2 years ago I took finasteride but I wasn't aware of the side effects but somehow came to know about erectile dysfunction and after that I was aware that when my erection will happen after 4 days I stopped it and after few days I started from 0.5 mg but again side effects occurred stopped it immediately and that erection again become normal, this all happened in march 2019 and I remembered I was fascinated about sex and was fascinated about some girls for sex of my area but after that in starting of june ,i kissed my girlfriend and felt the kiss again I masturbated at home thinking about the kiss and a thought came I will never enjoy the kiss I became worried about her but after two days I again romanced her and felt every bit of it but after coming home again, and because of my love life my study was affected a lot I had two options that whether I have to study or love my gf all the time that day an illogical thought came to my mind that if I will study I will lose the feeling for my gf and that happened and I lost the excitement for her and became anxious about that and searched on internet that how to bring back the excitement or feeling for girlfriend again, I stopped going to college, I thought kissing her will do the job I kissed her but there was no feeling at all I tried so hard to feel the kiss but that feeling wasn't coming so from that I went to a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with ocd and after 3 months my gf breakup with me ,i thought she might have left me due to my poor ugly face, I again diagnosed with body dysmorphic and suffered from sep 2019 to 2020 I made 1000 of videos of my face in phone and thought that my face bony structure is changed significantly and it is irreversible, I was still depressed and masturbating everyday fantasizing my gf with no pleasure but the real night mare starts when I got to know about post finasteride syndrome and have a strong feelings that my sexual libido is decreased by finasteride and it's irreversible but I remember that 2 years before when I took finasteride, the side effects happened and disappeared after stopping and after side effects gone I used to fantasize a lot about sex had that increased libido and there are 2-4 girls I was fascinated about sex about them but that memories now seem fake to me I know I was fascinated about sex about the girls even after side effects disappeared but still I am worried by just saying to myself that memories are fake that is my self made memory my doctor prescribed me d veniz and oxcarb 150 and 300 after listening this, but I know I am not a patient of post finasteride syndrome bcoz side effects did disappeared after stopping the medicines but still unable to cope with it, now I am searching for proofs that my sexual libido was high after side effects disappeared by searching my browsing history because my ocd started june 2019 and I took finasteride in march 5 2019 for 5 days till 10 march 2019 and due to side effects I stopped because I used to watch porn in mobile and my side effects disappeared there will be no day that I never watched porn and was enjoying that, bcoz I am a bit worried person in all aspects, so if in 2019 march during finasteride side effects if it really lingered then why I didn't complain about this to the psychiatrist in 2019, I know this is a self made problem and also know finasteride is quite safe only 2 percent of people face side effects and side effects also disappears after stopping it so I know the facts but still confused about past memories that are the proofs that my libido didn't affected by the side effects ,bcoz I was enjoying porn that time, please help any psychiatrist should I take d veniz or not bcoz today I masturbated twice in 1 hour but I got erection but masturbated by laying on floor I am afraid that the medicine will affect my erection and I have to wait for erection and take after that.

MSc COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, B.A Psychology, Sociology and English Literature
Psychologist, Hyderabad
Dear Lybrate user, in agreement with the doctors above, I think counselling or therapy really will help. Especially cognitive behaviour therapy for your thoughts, to help you manage them. If you need help you can contact me or any other therapist ...

I got infected with viral eye conjunctivitis caused by herpes virus around 1.5 years ago. I have been using fml liquifilm along with tacrolimus ointment. But as soon as I stop using them both for about 4-5 days, I start to develop a bit blurred vision, and as soon as I start using them again, I get my clarity back. Should I stop using fml or should I continue it?

MBBS, Diploma in Hospital Administration, Certificate Course in Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation (CDDAR), CERTIFICATION IN PSYCHOTHERAPY/COUNSELLING
General Physician, Amritsar
Dear lybrate-user, please stop using this medication asap. You are inviting a lot of trouble to your eyes including glaucoma. Just consult your family doctor or an ophthalmologist and get the right medication. Never buy by your own as it is not in...
1 person found this helpful

Hi, patient has vision problems since last 1 month now. She has had problems in the past like breast cancer 7 year back. Only chemo was taken, no radiation. One breast removed. 2 years back she developed *hyperthyroidism* and she also had to put one stent. 2 months back she was hospitalized for back pain and mri was done and she had some *l4l5l6* issue. She wears belt for that and her bones are weak. Since the time she's discharged from hospital, she has this eyes problem. We showed it to two eye specialists too and they suggested an mri for brain and orbits. Mri reports attached for your reference. For to thyroid we had shown to Dr. girish in the past and he had prescribed neomercazole. She used to take 30 mg initially, 3 months months back her t3t4 tsh levels improved so he had reduced it to 10 mg a day. We increased it to 15 mg a day after since last 15 days after showing to a family doc. Our primary complaint now is eyes problem. Her vision has deteriorated and we put this refresh drops in eyes every 3 hours. Below are the thyroid reports that we have taken along with tsh receptor antibody. We have tried 3 injections of methylprednisolone in last 3 days. Still we are seeing no improvement. Tsh receptor antibody 38.68 done last month. T3 4.66 t4 1.46 and tsh 0.006medicine now tab tpo 100, predmet, azoran neomercazole 20 mg, apart from starpr press, metxl and clopitab a.what do you suggest?

MS - Ophthalmology, FICO, FRCS - I & II
Ophthalmologist, Mathura
Mr. lybrate-user I have gone through the history you have provided. It's quiet complicated. You have not mentioned age must be around 70 I guess. Is she having headache or pain in eyes. What is vision with n without glasses. Detail eye checkup is ...

My mother’s age is approximately 70 years at present, she is patient of diabetes and high blood. Pressure ever since she was of the age of 45 years (no medication at that time was given to her for b.p and diabetes), but she was diagnosed for both these diseases in year 2011 only, when she felt pain in heart region and in the left hand side in the back. She was diagnosed for two artery blockages i.e for 95% and 60% in angiography. An stunt was put to clear the 95% blockage. The medicine for high b.p, diabetes, and heart started and continued since then only. She is also the patient of weak digestion approximately for the last 25 years. I.e. Her routine motion in the morning does not take place in time. It comes out hard in the beginning and becomes loose at second or third motion, which takes place at very short interval after first motion. For that norflox tz/ lomofen / metronidazole is given to her to stop the loose/ dysenteric motions. This hardening and loosening of motions process continues even now also. (she requires your treatment) she is also the patient of gall bladder stone (approximately 22 mm). Which normally remain silent but she requires your treatment. Since the month of january 2020 she was again having the symptoms of heart attack (diagnosed in trop t test for heart at king george medical college lucknow). Doctors at king george medical college lucknow advised for angiography but due to weak condition of patient we requested to conduct the same after holi festival in march 2020. So to prevent any heart attack risk the medicines were increased by the doctor. I.e. Earlier since the year 2011 (after stunting in artery) she was taking the allopathic medicine for high blood pressure, diabetes and ecosprin for heart. This heavy medication has made her weak further and her eyesight has become very weak i.e almost blurred (she requires your treatment. Here it is pertinent to mention that new lenses have already been put in her eyes after the cataract surgery 10 to 15 years back. Since april 2020 we started homeopathic medicine tonicard, and after seeing your you tube video we also started arnica montana q, crataegus oxyacantha q, terminale arjuna q. All the three mother tinctures, as medicines for her heart blockage disease, so that at the time of her next trip t test she would become free from any heart blockage. She is feeling also better i.e. Less pain in heart region, with these medicines. (she requires your treatment) she is also the patient of trembling hands, i.e. When she holds anything in her hands, her hands start shaking/ trembling and goods fall from her hands. 7 years back her brain mri revealed some blood clotting in her brain, expectedly due to her undiagnosed increased sugar level (due to no medicine) in the age of 45 to 60 years. (she requires your treatment). Kindly provide treatment for her extreme weakness also. Her knees are so week that she can not sit and stand up on her own, so she passes her stool and urine, in almost standing position. (she requires your treatment).

M.B.,B.S.,, Dip., Dia.
Diabetologist, Chennai
From your statement it is clear that she is suffering from heart and neuro problem because of long term diabetes, high bp. She needs a private consultation for complete assessment and medication to prevent further problems.

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