EYE DISEASES  
CATARACT
 

Cataract
Cataract FAQ
Amblyopia
AMD
Astigmatism
Chalazion
Diabetic Retinopathy
Dry Eyes
Floaters
Glaucoma
Hyperopia
Myopia
Presbyopia
Pterygium
Retinal Detachment
Subconjunctival Hemmorage
Uveitis



(Above) Vision with Cataract

A cataract is the clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. It is the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 years and the principal cause of reversible blindness in the world.

Symptoms

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
  • Glare from lamps or the sun, which may be severe
  • Difficulty driving at night due to glare from headlights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty performing daily activities because of vision problems

Detection and diagnosis

A thorough eye examination can detect the presence and extent of a cataract, as well as any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort.

A comprehensive eye examination includes:

  • Visual acuity test:
    An eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.

  • Pupil dilation:
    The pupil is widened with dilating eye drops to allow the doctor to see more of the lens and retina and look for other eye problems.

  • Tonometry:
    A standard test to measure fluid pressure inside the eye. Increased pressure may be a sign of glaucoma. Other tests might be necessary to determine if visual loss is because of the cataract, or some other reason, for example a problem involving the retina or the optic nerve.

  • Treatment
    Surgery is the only option for improving vision. The cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear, artificial lens.
    The two types of cataract surgery are:
    • Phacoemulsification or phaco (often called ‘laser’ surgery)
    • Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE)

 

Phacoemulsification Surgery

The purpose of doing the surgery is to replace the cataract with an artificial lens (implant) inside your eye. Cataract surgery is mostly done under local anesthesia, where you will be awake during the operation. You will be aware of a bright light, but you will not be able to see what is happening. Before entering the operation theater, you will be given eye drops to enlarge the pupil. After which, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the eye. This may consist simply of eye drops or injecting local anesthetic solution into the tissue surrounding the eye. You will be asked to keep your head still and lie as flat as possible during the entire surgical procedure. The operation normally takes 15 minutes, but may take up to 45 minutes. At the end of the operation, a shield is placed over your eye to protect it, and you will need to use the shield whenever you sleep for the next 5-7 days.

Cataract Removal
Through a tiny incision made in the eye, the surgeon inserts a small (about the size of a pen tip) ultrasonic instrument that breaks up and gently removes your cloudy lens.

IOL Implantation
The cataractous lens is replaced with an artificial Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). The IOL is inserted in precisely the right spot, where the haptics or “arms”, gently unfold to keep it in place.

Vision Regained
Once the cataractous lens has been removed and replaced by the artificial lens, light once again passes through providing a range of vision.


What to expect after the surgery


It is normal to feel itching and mild discomfort for a while after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common, and your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your eye doctor may suggest a pain reliever. After 1-2 days, even moderate discomfort should disappear. In most cases, healing will take about 6 weeks. You can take pain reliever after the surgery if you experience any discomfort in 4-6 hourly intervals apart. You will be given a couple of eye drops to reduce inflammation after the surgery. The clinic staffs will explain how and when to use them. Please do not rub your eye. You will have to put a clear plastic shield over your eye while you are sleeping for 1 week after the operation.