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Cataracts: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

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.

How is the 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. 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.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

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 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?

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.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

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 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. 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.

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 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.

Safety: Disease Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Low Price Range:

500- Rs 5,00,000 /-

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Popular Questions & Answers

How and why does the IOP decrease after Cataract eye surgery? Please explain fully. Which type of lenses are most safe? Bi and Tri focal brands?

After cataract surgery, there is more room in the eye for fluid to circulate and hence in some eyes, esp those which were small and crowded, the pressure reduces. The other part of your query cannot be fully answered in a text chat. Please come fo...
2 people found this helpful

I am 54 years have a family history of 5 out of 7 bro & 1 out of 4 sister of RP. Since the age of 18. Now have much of sufaid mota nearly blind. Sister totally blind at 60. Is there any advantage of operating sufaid motia .Please guide. Thanks.

By getting operation on Cataract you are not going to loose anything. Only chances are your vision could be bettter. At least it will not be deteriorate after operation of cataract. Good luck.
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My father is of 58 years of age and has undergone through angioplasty 2 years back and still using some medicines as per doctors prescription, now he is suffering from motiyabind (contract). He wants to operate it (contract surgery. Kindly guide us if any kind of complexion lies in this. Thanking you

Dear user Cataract surgery are performed by eye surgeon. Kindly contact your eye surgeon who can advise you better as per heart conditions whether or not operation can done or not Hopefully your questions is answered.

My father is around 50 years old and now he now he is suffering from motiyabin and actually just at starting stage. So I show on you tube rajiv dixit is claiming that by applying few drop of onion juice it can cure motiyabin. Will it be safe to do so or can you suggest any better treatment at home itself.

Please do not fall prey to such remedies. As of now there is no eye drops which can cure cataract. Just get yearly eye check up. When there is difficulty in doing day to day work, whether cataract is fully ripe or partially ripe, surgery needs to ...
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Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
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