Cataract surgery is the process of the removal of the natural lens of the human eye, also termed as the crystalline lens. This process is performed when the one or both the eyes have developed an opacification, commonly known as a cataract. The metabolic changes in the crystalline lens lead to the development of cataract with the passage of time. As a result, the eyes lose their transparency which in turn cause impairment and even complete loss of vision. Most patients experience the first symptoms of cataract as a strong glare from light sources in the morning and small light sources in darkness. It is also marked by reduced acuity when there is low light. During the cataract surgery, the affected natural lens is taken out and replaced with a high-quality synthetic lens for restoring the transparency of the lens. There are two types of procedures of cataract surgery used all over the world. The first process involves phacoemulsification while the second one is extracapsular cataract extraction. In most of the surgeries, the intraocular lens is inserted. The cataract extraction with the aid of intracapsular cataract extraction is suspended by the Phaco and therefore, it is rarely performed all over the world.
The cataract surgery takes about an hour, and it doesn’t cause much discomfort among patients. During the process, the eye surgeon first numbs the eye with the aid of an anaesthetic. This suggests that you will remain awake during the process. If you are very anxious, the doctor would also give you medicine for relaxing. Then the surgeon would make a small incision in the front part of the eye. Then a specialised equipment would be used for breaking the cataract and then, suck it out. The new lens is then inserted which can be made of silicone, acrylic or plastic. In most cases, the intraocular lens is used after the removal of the natural lens. The implanted lens is then inserted through the incision within the capsular bag present in the posterior chamber. Sometimes, it may be required to opt for a sulcus implantation owing to the presence of the posterior capsular tears or zonulolysis. Then the incision is closed, and the doctor would then sew the incision with stitches. The cataract surgery is a simple process, and it is widely performed all over the world to improve the power of vision among patients who have difficulty in viewing.
Cataract surgery can be performed to any individual who is suffering from difficulties to see with both the eyes. In most of these instances, the patients are recommended to consider monovision. This process involves inserting the intraocular lens in one eye providing near vision while the intraocular lens in the other eye offer a distant vision. Some people face tremendous difficulties in seeing objects in the night. It is imperative to perform the cataract surgery in all these cases since the growth of cataract can lead to loss of vision as well.
Even though you may have a cataract, it is not always necessary to undergo the cataract surgery. You may not notice any changes in your vision even though the cataract may have started to develop. Some people with this condition are absolutely fine with their prescription glasses or using magnifying glasses or using bright lights for reading. Also, people with high blood pressure and diabetes are not considered an ideal candidate for the treatment.
Cataract surgery is among the safest surgical interventions in the history of medical science. Also, it can rarely lead to any kind of side effects. A significantly low percentage of patients experience occurrences like bleeding from the eyes, drooping eyelid, build-up of fluid within the eye, swelling, eye infection, detachment of the retina, feeling of pressure under or within the eye and loosening of the implanted lens. If you feel any discomfort following your cataract surgery, it must be reported to the doctor with no further delay. Also, you must ensure following the guidelines of your doctor to ensure that you experience no unwanted side effects.
There is no reason to worry about your eyes feel sore for a few days of completion of the cataract surgery. You may find that there is fluid discharge from your eyes and it has become impossible to see anything in the bright light. Your eye surgeon would prescribe eye drops which would prevent infection, and you must take this for 2 to 3 weeks post operation. You should not drive for at least 2 weeks, pick up heavy objects or do anything that would exert pressure on your eyes. Your doctor may also advise you to sleep in an eye shield for protecting the operated surgery and allow it to heal.
Healing after the cataract surgery generally doesn’t take much time if you can follow the guidelines suggested by your eye surgeon. It would take about 2 months for your eyes to heal completely with proper medications and application of the eye drops.
Cataract surgery is one of the most affordable treatment options all over the world. In India, the cost of cataract surgery can range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 60,000 depending on the methods and equipment used. Your eye surgeon would be able to guide you better about the cost you are likely to incur for the cataract surgery.
In about 90 percent of the cases, the cataract surgery is successful with no infections and complications. Regardless of whether you choose to undergo manual or laser-assisted surgery, the cataract surgery can improve the vision to a considerable extent. But it is important to have realistic expectations as you may have to wear glasses or lens for excellent vision after the surgery.
The most common alternative to cataract surgery is wearing lens and glasses that can help an affected individual to see almost clearly. There are also eye drops available which can assist in dissolving the clumped proteins causing cataracts in the eyes. People who cannot undergo a cataract surgery due to health reasons should consider getting the eye drops containing lanosterol as an effective treatment. But it is crucial to consult with an eye surgeon before deciding.
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.
If you would like to consult with me privately, please click 'Consult'.
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.
Any patient who needs to undergo cataract surgery must be evaluated in a thorough manner so as to establish the requirement, appropriateness, expected surgical problems, expected benefits and co-morbid conditions having an influence on cataract surgery.
The preoperative assessment consists of -
A test for your existing glasses prescription:
It is useful for your cataract surgeon to know your existing glasses prescription in cases where there is a high refractive error (people who are very short or long sighted), in order to plan to correct this error after cataract surgery.
A full ocular examination: This includes looking at:
Biometry Tests: This is a simple pre-operative measurement. It calculates the correct power of artificial intra-ocular lens. They will be implanted into your eye once your cataract is removed.
Corneal Topography: This is a test to map out the corneal curvature in greater detail. It is used prior to premium IOL Implantation like Toric IOLS either monofocal or multifocal , to ensure avoid postoperative refractive errors. This extra test is only required if the biometry readings show larger than normal differences in keratometry readings.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): This test allows detailed visualisation of the macula (the central sensitive part of the retina used for fine vision). If the ophthalmologist suspects any macula changes that may prevent a patient from visual improvement after cataract surgery, he always suggest optical coherence tomography.
Blood Pressure Measurements: It is very important to know your blood pressure measurements before your cataract operation. The risk of having a bleed at the back of your eye during cataract surgery (supra-choroidal haemorrhage) is very small (1 in 10000). But is higher if you have uncontrolled blood pressure.
Blood Sugar Measurements in Diabetic Patients: Cataract surgery itself does not affect your blood sugar measurements if you are diabetic. A routine checkup of blood sugars in diabetics before cataract surgery is done and the surgery if often delayed if the levels were greater than 20mmol/L as the risk of post-operative infection is higher.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataract, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataract can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend's face. Cataract often develops slowly and doesn't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataract will eventually interfere with your vision.
At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.
Causes of Cataracts: Cataracts happens when protein builds up on the lens of your eye, making it cloudy. This prevents light from passing clearly through the lens, causing some loss of vision. New lens cells form on the outside of the lens, and the older cells are compacted into the center of the lens, forming the cataract.
Types of cataract include:
Other thing that can raise your risk of getting cataract includes cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy drinking.
Symptoms of Cataracts:
Dealing with a cataract is a matter of going in for surgery and making certain lifestyle changes to avoid injuries due to impaired vision.
A cataract surgery is performed to remove the lens of the eye and replace it with an artificial one. The surgery is undertaken to cure cataract, which makes the lens of the eyes cloudy, making it difficult to see. The surgery is not considered to be a major one and is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that the patient can go home the very same day without having to spend the night at the hospital. The procedure is very normal and is undertaken when cataract starts to affect the day-to-day life of the patient.
Know the risks involved
Complications after a cataract surgery are rare but not unheard of. The surgery in itself is a simple one but there is a risk of complications if the patient is suffering from another eye disease or is suffering from an underlying health condition. As a precaution, always get yourself tested for other eye diseases before deciding to go for the surgery. Some of the other risks involved include:
What to do before cataract surgery?
Before the surgery takes place, your ophthalmologist will ask you to do certain preparations so that the surgery goes as planned. Make sure that you follow his/her advice diligently for a successful surgery and recovery. Some of these things include: