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Cataract

A cataract is a condition in which the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy, preventing sufficient light rays from entering the eye and impairing vision.

Cataract is not a tumor or a growth over the eye as is commonly feared. It is normally a part of ageing process and is due to the physical changes taking place in the lens. A common condition among the elderly, cataract can also be caused by injury, be present at birth or due to illnesses such as diabetes.

Symptoms

The first sign is usually a blurring vision, which cannot be corrected by glasses. Opacification, or clouding, nearly always develops at the edges of the lens and if progressive, impairs vision as it spreads inwards. Other symptoms may include seeing multiple images, poor vision in bright, seeing a large black spot in front of the eye or haloes around lights.

Treatment

At present, there is no recognized or effective treatment for cataract once they become advanced, apart from surgery. Depending on the patient’s needs and as long as vision remains satisfactory, surgery is not necessary. However, your surgeon will advise that the cataract be removed when poor vision interferes with your daily activities.

Cataract microsurgery is usually highly successful and more than 90% of patients are to regain good vision. With the removal of the cloudy lens, an artificial lens is needed to substitute its function of focusing light rays onto the retina. This is achieved in one of three ways – by special cataract glasses, contact lens or intraocular implants that are plastic discs inserted into the eye.

Intraocular Implants

Artificial lenses implanted inside the eyeball by surgery have been used for over thirty years with excellent results achieved. However, occasional complications still exist such as raised eye pressure (glaucoma) and inflammation (iritis). Sight may also deteriorate several months or years after surgery due to thickening of the lens, which is left behind. This condition may be improved either through an operation known as capsulatomy or treatment using the YAG laser.

As each patient has special needs and problems, ophthalmologist will discuss your treatment with you during your consultation.

Know More ‘The Final step’

Information given above provides only a preliminary introduction to cataract. Finding out more about it is the next step towards visual independence. This is accomplished by calling Dr. Hardia Hospital for a consultation with doctor.