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Cataract Tips

Clouded Vision - Do You Think It Can Be Cataract?

ABC
Ophthalmologist, Jodhpur
Clouded Vision - Do You Think It Can Be Cataract?

Cataract can be defined as the clouding of the natural lenses in the eyes. This is caused by the clumping of protein in the eye lens. Cataract is a common eye disorder and the leading cause of loss of vision in people who are past their fortieth birthday. Cataract can occur in one or both eyes. When diagnosed properly, cataract can be treated with surgery to prevent blindness.

Depending on where and how they develop, there are many types of cataract. The most common amongst these are:

  1. Subcapsular cataract: These occur at the back of the eye lens. Diabetic patients are very susceptible to this kind of cataract.
  2. Nuclear cataract: Yellowish-brown cataract that form in the center of the lens are called nuclear cataract. This is usually seen in cataract caused by ageing.
  3. Cortical cataract: Cataract in the lens cortex are known as cortical cataract. These are wedge shaped and whitish in color. Spokes protruding out of these opaque wedges can be seen moving towards the center of the eye.
  4. Congenital cataract: Though they are not common, babies can also have cataract. Cataract formed at birth or within the first year of a baby's birth are known as congenital cataract.
  5. Secondary cataract: Cataract is one of the known side effects of diabetes and glaucoma. Some steroids and medicines are also linked to cataract.
  6. Traumatic cataract: If your vision becomes cloudy years after an eye injury, it could be a traumatic cataract. It can take several years for this to happen.
  7. Radiation cataract: Exposure to radiation can also lead to cataract. This is seen sometimes in patients who have undergone radiation therapy to fight diseases like cancer.

Though the type of cataract might differ from person to person, the symptoms are usually the same. Some of the common symptoms of cataract are:

1. Blurred vision

2. Reduced night vision

3. Increased sensitivity to light and glare

4. Seeing halos around lights

5. Colors appearing faded

6. Double vision

A reading test is the first step towards diagnosing cataracts. This is followed by tests to measure the eye pressure. Your doctor will also need to dila te the pupil to check the condition of the optic nerves and retina. Surgery is the safest way to remove a cataract. Surgery is usually recommended when cataract begin inhibiting your daily life such as preventing you from driving, interfering with reading etc.

In most cases, this can be done as an outpatient procedure. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Hence, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, get your eyes checked at once. The surgery is a day-care surgery only, so a person can go home the same day. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4950 people found this helpful

Smoking - Does It Put Your Eyes At Risk?

Dr. Reema Das 86% (12 ratings)
DOMS, MBBS
Ophthalmologist, Gurgaon
Smoking - Does It Put Your Eyes At Risk?

If you thought smoking was causing damage to only your lungs, thing again. Your eyesight, one of your most valuable possessions, is at high risk of damage because of your bad habit.
The damage done to your eyes by cigarettes happens from two sources; the toxic smoke that hangs in the air which surrounds you as you puff on the cigarettes and 4000 odd toxic substances that enter your bloodstream once you smoke. In extreme cases, smoking also causes loss in vision. Here is a list of eye disorders and diseases, which can be caused due to smoking-

Macular degeneration
The risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration is there for people above the age of fifty. In case of smokers, the chance of developing AMD is three times more than in nonsmokers. It has been proven that smokers develop the chance of AMD ten years prior to non smokers.

Cataract
This process involves the clouding of the lens inside the eye. Cataract develops with old age, usually. The risk of developing early cataract is common among smokers, who are twice at risk of cataract than non smokers. The effect of the cataract in the case of smokers is more severe.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the eye disorder where the death of nerve fiber layer behind our eyes takes place, and that results in loss of vision. The increase in pressure within the eyes leads to glaucoma. Smoking enhances the pressure in your eyes, and so smokers are at a potential risk of acquiring this disease.

Diabetic eye diseases
A number of eye diseases are accompanied with diabetes. This can result in blindness when left ignored or not paid attention to in severe cases. Diabetic patients who are smokers are three times more at a risk of eye diseases associated with diabetes.

Optic neuropathy
This eye disease causes sudden loss of vision to the eyes without any pain. It happens due to the disrupted flow of blood in the arteries of the eyes. Smokers are 16 times more at a risk of developing optic neuropathy at an earlier age.

Thyroid associated eye diseases
Patients having thyroid issues or Grave's disease have disorders in their vision. Grave's disease patients who smoke tobacco are likely to develop severe eye diseases associated with the thyroid.

Dry eye
Smoking causes irritation to the eyes and affects the tear film of the eye. Smokers and passive smokers are likely to develop dry eye disorders. Smoking causes a lot of eye diseases and disorders, and smokers are at a higher risk of acquiring eye diseases than non smokers.

2 people found this helpful

ICL (Implantable Contact Lens)

Dr. Ikeda Lal 87% (15 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
ICL (Implantable Contact Lens)

Icl or implantable contact lens is an excellent option for people with high powers. It is an imported lens which is custom made according to your eye power and size. It is also a reversible procedure.

Who are the ideal candidates for icl?
The age if the patient must be over 18 years. People who have very high powers, usually more than -8.00 or people with thin corneas where lasik is not possible are ideal candidates. 

How long does the procedure take? is it painful?
It is a painless procedure since numbing eye drops are used. There is no injection, suture or pad required and it takes around 15 minutes. The oatiebt can get back to work even the next day after surgery. But we operate one eye at a time and the other eye 2-3 days later. 

How long does this lens last?
This lens lasts forever and doesnt get spoilt. If later on a patient debelops cataract, this lens can be removed and cataract surgery performed without any problem.

1 person found this helpful

Eye Sight - How Smoking Can Put You At Risk?

Dr. Nitesh Bansal 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Cornea Observership, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Jaipur
Eye Sight - How Smoking Can Put You At Risk?

If you thought smoking was causing damage to only your lungs, thing again. Your eyesight, one of your most valuable possessions, is at high risk of damage because of your bad habit.
The damage done to your eyes by cigarettes happens from two sources; the toxic smoke that hangs in the air which surrounds you as you puff on the cigarettes and 4000 odd toxic substances that enter your bloodstream once you smoke. In extreme cases, smoking also causes loss in vision. Here is a list of eye disorders and diseases, which can be caused due to smoking-

Macular degeneration
The risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration is there for people above the age of fifty. In case of smokers, the chance of developing AMD is three times more than in nonsmokers. It has been proven that smokers develop the chance of AMD ten years prior to non smokers.

Cataract
This process involves the clouding of the lens inside the eye. Cataract develops with old age, usually. The risk of developing early cataract is common among smokers, who are twice at risk of cataract than non smokers. The effect of the cataract in the case of smokers is more severe.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the eye disorder where the death of nerve fiber layer behind our eyes takes place, and that results in loss of vision. The increase in pressure within the eyes leads to glaucoma. Smoking enhances the pressure in your eyes, and so smokers are at a potential risk of acquiring this disease.

Diabetic eye diseases
A number of eye diseases are accompanied with diabetes. This can result in blindness when left ignored or not paid attention to in severe cases. Diabetic patients who are smokers are three times more at a risk of eye diseases associated with diabetes.

Optic neuropathy
This eye disease causes sudden loss of vision to the eyes without any pain. It happens due to the disrupted flow of blood in the arteries of the eyes. Smokers are 16 times more at a risk of developing optic neuropathy at an earlier age.

Thyroid associated eye diseases
Patients having thyroid issues or Grave's disease have disorders in their vision. Grave's disease patients who smoke tobacco are likely to develop severe eye diseases associated with the thyroid.

Dry eye
Smoking causes irritation to the eyes and affects the tear film of the eye. Smokers and passive smokers are likely to develop dry eye disorders. Smoking causes a lot of eye diseases and disorders, and smokers are at a higher risk of acquiring eye diseases than non smokers.

2558 people found this helpful

Cataract - What Factors Can Put You At Risk?

Dr. Ikeda Lal 87% (15 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
Cataract - What Factors Can Put You At Risk?

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:

  1. Subcapsular cataract: People who are diabetic and those are taking high steroids are more prone to subcapsular cataract. In this type, the cataract develops at the back of the lens.
  2. Nuclear cataract: A nuclear cataract is related to aging. It usually affects the central portion of the lens of the eye.
  3. Cortical cataract: It is a white opacity, which begins from the periphery of the lens and spreads up to the center of the lens in a spot-like manner. It usually affects the cortex of the lens.

Symptoms:

  1. In the beginning, cataract affects a small portion of your eye and affects your vision.
  2. Your vision gradually gets blurred.
  3. Too much exposure to the light might cause glare.
  4. In nuclear cataract, you may notice a short-lived improvement of your near vision.
  5. In subcapsular cataract, you cannot notice any symptoms in the initial days.

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

  1. Age
  2. UV rays from sunlight
  3. Obesity
  4. Hypertension
  5. Smoking
  6. Consumption of high dosage steroids medicines
  7. Statin medicines
  8. History of eye inflammation or any eye injury
  9. History of eye surgery
  10. Too much consumption of alcohol
  11. Hormone replacement therapy
  12. Family history of cataract

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.

4594 people found this helpful

Cataract Surgery - How To Quickly Recover From It?

ABC
Ophthalmologist, Jodhpur
Cataract Surgery - How To Quickly Recover From It?

A simple, uncomplicated cataract surgery should not take more than 10 minutes to perform. The best part about a cataract surgery is that most people see almost immediate results and improved vision. However, full recovery can take awhile. Each person heals at a different speed but ideally, your eyes should heal completely in a month. Here are a few tips to help speed up this process and avoid infections and eye injuries.

Take it easy
Just because the surgery takes a short time is no reason to underestimate its importance. Do not drive on the first day and as far as possible avoid driving for the next few days as well. Do not put any extra pressure on your eyes by bending, lifting weights etc. This will ensure that your stitches do not tear open. Try to avoid excessive sneezing and coughing as this can jerk the lens out of place.

Protect your eyes
Wearing sunglasses is a good idea after a cataract surgery. This will protect your delicate eyes against dust, wind etc. Avoid using community swimming pools and hot tubs immediately after such a surgery to lower the risk of infections. Avoid rubbing your eyes aggressively. For the first week, keep your face out of the shower so as to avoid feeling the need to press or rub your eyes as well as to protect them from bacteria in the water.

Lubricate
Your eyes may feel dry and scratchy after a cataract surgery. This is normal and not something to worry about. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to be taken after the surgery. Use these regularly. Once this is over you may need additional artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. However, do not take these drops without first consulting your doctor. If your eyes are sensitive to the preservatives in bottled eye drops, look for single use ampoules. Ensure that you always wash your hands well before administering the eye drops.

Keep the eye clean
Though washing your face is avoidable, you must still keep the eye clean. Use cotton and a sterile saline wash for the first few days. You can later replace the saline with cool boiled water.

If you feel any deterioration in your vision, pain or excessive discharge in the operated eye, you must immediately consult your doctor. Seeing sudden flashes of light or floaters in your vision should also not be ignored. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

7188 people found this helpful

Why You Need To Go For Cataract Surgery?

Dr. Ravindra M.S. 89% (251 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Ophthalmology, Fellowship in Vitreo Retina, Fellowship in Cornea
Ophthalmologist, Bangalore
Why You Need To Go For Cataract Surgery?

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:

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Nearsightedness
  3. Changes in the perception of colour
  4. Night blindness
  5. Increased sensitivity to glares
  6. Double vision

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:

  1. Pain and redness of the eye
  2. Vision problems
  3. Swelling of the eye
  4. Discharge from the eye
  5. Flashes or floaters in the patient’s vision

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3931 people found this helpful

Cataract Surgery - Why You Need To Get It Done?

Dr. Purva Patwari 88% (45 ratings)
DNB - Ophthalmology, MNAMS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad
Cataract Surgery - Why You Need To Get It Done?

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:

  1. Senile Cataract: This is the commonest of all. It is age-related clouding of the lens. It can affect the near or distance vision and can also cause glare and change in glasses power.
  2. Secondary Cataract: It can be developed after surgery for other eye problems like glaucoma and other health conditions such as diabetes.
  3. Traumatic Cataract: It can develop many years later after an injury caused to your eye.
  4. Congenital Cataract: As the term explains, the disease may be inborn or some children might develop it at a later stage which often affects both eyes. 
  5. Radiation Cataract: It can form after you are exposed to some form of radiation.

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.

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:

  1. Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
  2. Do you have problems reading or watching television?
  3. Is it difficult to cook, shop, do hardwork, climb stairs or take medications?
  4. Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
  5. Do bright lights make it more difficult to see?

Risks

Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully.

Cataract surgery risks include:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Infection
  3. Bleeding
  4. Swelling
  5. Drooping eyelid
  6. Dislocation of artificial lens
  7. Retinal detachment
  8. Glaucoma
  9. Secondary cataract

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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4389 people found this helpful

Pre-Surgery Testing - Do You Think It Is Important?

ABC
Ophthalmologist, Jodhpur
Pre-Surgery Testing - Do You Think It Is Important?

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:

  • The eyelid anatomy and inflammation.
  • The state of the tear film, dry eye changes could make surgery difficult
  • The presence of abnormalities in the cornea that could make visualisation of the cataract difficult during surgery.
  • The amount of dilation the iris undergoes with dilating drops.
  • The type of cataract. Soft cataracts can be aspirated. Hard cataracts need more ultra-sound energy and surgical time to break up and remove. White cataracts may need trypan blue staining to visualize the capsule
  • The measurement of intra-ocular pressure. With this test, we aim to exclude glaucoma and ensure optimal control of immediate pre-operative and intra-operative eye pressures often with extra eye drops that temporarily lower eye pressure.

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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6429 people found this helpful

Cataract Risk Factors - What Should You Know?

Dr. Harshavardhan Ghorpade 88% (37 ratings)
MBBS, MS
Ophthalmologist, Navi Mumbai
Cataract Risk Factors - What Should You Know?

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:

  1. Subcapsular cataract: People who are diabetic and those are taking high steroids are more prone to subcapsular cataract. In this type, the cataract develops at the back of the lens.
  2. Nuclear cataract: A nuclear cataract is related to aging. It usually affects the central portion of the lens of the eye.
  3. Cortical cataract: It is a white opacity, which begins from the periphery of the lens and spreads up to the center of the lens in a spot-like manner. It usually affects the cortex of the lens.

Symptoms:

  1. In the beginning, cataract affects a small portion of your eye and affects your vision.
  2. Your vision gradually gets blurred.
  3. Too much exposure to the light might cause glare.
  4. In nuclear cataract, you may notice a short-lived improvement of your near vision.
  5. In subcapsular cataract, you cannot notice any symptoms in the initial days.

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

  1. Age
  2. UV rays from sunlight
  3. Obesity
  4. Hypertension
  5. Smoking
  6. Consumption of high dosage steroids medicines
  7. Statin medicines
  8. History of eye inflammation or any eye injury
  9. History of eye surgery
  10. Too much consumption of alcohol
  11. Hormone replacement therapy
  12. Family history of cataract

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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4203 people found this helpful
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