Is your vision blurry or foggy? Do colours appear dull or muted? Are your glasses no longer working?
Does sunlight or other light seem overly bright or glaring? Do you have decreased night vision or see halos around lights?
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, you may have cataract. Cataract is the leading cause of visual loss in adults 55 and over.
WHAT IS CATARACT?
A cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural clear lens inside your eye. The clouding of your eye's natural lens, that affects many of us as we age. This lens, located behind the iris, works just like the lens of a camera-focusing light images on the retina, which sends images to the brain.
CATARACT: A NATURAL PART OF AGEING
With the onset of Cataract, your natural lens becomes so clouded that it obstructs the passage of light and images from reaching the retina (parda) of the eye and impairs vision. You now start seeing objects blurred. When the lens develops cloudiness to the point that it impairs vision, it is called cataract.
Progressive and painless blurring of vision is the commonest symptom. Cataract usually develops in both the eyes, but may progress at different rates. A cataract can be the reason sharp images become blurred, bright colours become dull, or seeing during low light conditions / night becomes more difficult- experience glare in night driving.
It may also be why the reading glasses or bifocals that used to help you read or do other simple tasks no longer seem to help. Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing life through old, cloudy film. It is like looking through a frosted glass.
Majority of cataract cases are simply a result of the natural ageing process. Sometimes eye injury, certain diseases or even some medications could be the cause.Cataract is not a 'film' over the eye and No diet, drugs or eye-drops have been proven to delay or cure the cataract.Although research is currently underway, no preventive measures are known for cataract that develops with age.
The only treatment is surgical. The best way to treat cataract is with surgery which removes the old, clouded lens and replaces it with a new artificial lens to restore your vision. Cataract surgery is a safe surgical procedure, with the appropriate lens implant, has restored sight for millions. Successful cataract surgery can significantly improve your quality of life.
CATARACT SURGERY: CLARITY IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
The cataract surgery procedure is very common. The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the side of the cornea, removes the eye's clouded natural lens (using a procedure known as phacoemulsification) and then replaces it with an artificial 'Intraocular Lens' (IOL).
It is a no stitch small incision cataract surgery. IOL is implanted and the surgery is completed without any stitch. The Incision is only 1.8mm - 2.2mm long. Because the incision is very small the eye heals quicklyIn majority cases no complications occur. Surgery takes 30-45 minutes you can go home on the same day. Modern cataract surgery is a very safe outpatient procedure that barely takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
Fortunately, you have encountered cataract at a time when intraocular lens technology has taken great leaps of progress. A computer controlled 'Phaco' machine with tiny ultrasonic probe is used to remove cataract. Phaco uses ultrasound energy to liquify lens and suck it out with a titanium probe, vibrating forty thousand times a second. The lens is implanted through the smallest possible opening in the eye. The minute (2.2mm or smaller) incision is self-sealed and needs no suture or stitch to close it. The patient is back to normal activities within a few days, including attending office or even doing heavy manual work. At present this technique is used for all cases undergoing Cataract surgery at our hospital.
To retain the maximum benefit of the miniature 2.2mm or smallest incision, a foldable IOL is used.The foldable IOL made of transparent silicone or acrylic polymer to be inserted inside the eye in a fine tube and it unfolds to its full size once inside the eye. Your choice of IOL will depend on your eye condition and your visual needs after the surgery.
OPT FOR A SUITABLE IOL - ENJOY A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE
Your surgeon/counsellor will advise you on which Intraocular Lens (IOL) is best suited for your eye condition, depending upon your visual needs. Recent advances in IOL technology have been significant. The new generation lenses will allow you to see well at all distances without the help of glasses, bifocals or reading glasses. Following are the three primary types of lenses that are currently available:
A lens with a single focal point, designed to replace Cataracteous lens and provide enhanced image quality for distance vision. While distance vision is improved, most patients still need to wear glasses for Certain tasks such as reading or working at a computer.
Astigmatism correcting lenses TORIC IOL are for patients with existing corneal astigmatism. Similar to mono focal lenses, these lenses usually give patients enhanced image quality distance vision with less dependence on glasses. Most patients will still need to wear glasses for tasks such as reading or working at a computer.
Multifocal lens IOL
A lens with multiple focal points, designed to replace cataracteous lens and correct presbyopia at the same time. Their goal is to give patients a full range of clear vision, near to far and everywhere in between. Such lenses provide a full range of vision near, far and intermediate, while offering enhanced image quality.
Multifocal TORIC IOL
Astigmatism Correcting Multifocal Lens can provide patients greatest levels of spectacles freedom even if patients have a pre-operative corneal astigmatism. It designed to replace Cataracteous lens and pre existing astigmatism, providing a full range of vision - near, far and intermediate - while offering enhanced image quality
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY MY PATIENTS
When is the best time to treat cataracts?
Many people believe cataracts have to be ripe before they can be removed. This is no longer true. Today, cataract surgery is a routine procedure that can be performed as soon as your vision interferes with the quality of your life.
What happens if cataracts go untreated?
Over time, the clouded areas of your lens can become larger and more dense, causing your sight to become worse. This could take anywhere from a few months to many years. Eventually, your entire lens can cloud over leading to blindness.
How do I know which lens implant is right for me?
No single lens works best for everyone and only your ophthalmologist can determine the most appropriate option for you.
Can cataracts come back?
Once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time some patients may complain that their Vision has once again become cloudy. This condition is known as secondary cataract. It can be easily and rapidly treated with a simple laser procedure performed in the office.
How successful is cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery has an overall success rate of 98% or greater. Continuous innovations in techniques and instruments have made the procedure safer than earlier.
What should I do right after cataract surgery?
Plan to spend the day resting quietly when you return home after surgery. For a day or two, avoid exerting yourself, and do not carry anything heavy. Your vision will be blurry at first, so be extra careful to avoid falling or bumping. If you feel like it, you can read, watch TV, and do simple chores. You can resume your normal diet and take you usual medications unless advised otherwise.
What things can I safely do the next Day?
You can do most of the things you feel like doing, including walking, driving, exercise and stretching. If you work at a desk in an office, you can return to work.
How well can I see the next day?
Expect your vision to be blurry at first. Also your vision may change from time to time during the day. Your vision will improve over few days as your eyes adjust to working together. Your rate of healing may be faster or slower than that of others.
How can I protect my eye?
Your old glasses will not help you see better in the operated eye, but they will protect your eye from injury. After surgery please change the lens to plain glasses for operated eye.
Will I need to use medications? You will be prescribed eye drops to help healing and prevent infection or inflammation. Follow our instructions carefully. Take help of a family member or friend to put the medicine in your eye. If you have pain that is not relieved by the medicine prescribed, call us.
Will I need to see the doctor after surgery?
We will call you for check up the day after surgery. This checkup will take about half an hour. If you have questions or concerns write them down before your next visit.
When should I call my doctor?
You may call us if:
• You have severe pain, redness & dimness in vision.
• Your vision becomes suddenly worse.
• You see flashes of light in your field of vision.
• You see what appears to be a curtain coming down across your field of vision.
Will I need glasses after Cataract Surgery?
Yes, with monofocal IOL's you will need glasses for distance & near both • With Toric IOL's you will need glasses for reading only. • With multifocal or accommodative IOL's you will be independent of glasses.