The lens in your eye is crucial because it allows you to see things around you. The primary purpose and function of this lens are to refract light as it enters the eyes. This lens can become hazy and cloudy with age, and this condition is known as a cataract. Cataracts form when the proteins in the eye lens start to clump together. It interferes with light refraction and impairs eyesight.
Cataracts can negatively impact day-to-day life. As the vision deteriorates, routine activities like driving and reading become increasingly difficult. Cataracts usually develop with advancing age. Although in rare instances, adults and children may also develop cataracts in their eyes. The earliest symptoms of cataracts are barely distinguishable as the clouding is present in a small region of the eye lens.
There are several symptoms of a developing cataract:
When an ophthalmologist determines that a patient has cataracts, the next concern is when to take the necessary steps to treat cataracts. Rather than you choosing when to get the treatment, the best time to have it done will be advised by your ophthalmologist based on your condition.
It is preferable to choose surgery to treat cataracts if advancements in cataracts lead to changes in the number of eyeglasses frequently. Ophthalmologists occasionally advise surgery to treat eye cataracts that are still in the early stages, such as in cases of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, etc.
The eye cataract treatment is a procedure in which the lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery in patients with glaucoma has to be timed diligently under an expert ophthalmologist.
In fact, there is no set period that is ideal to treat eye cataracts. It depends on the degree of visual fog, your lifestyle, and your preferences. Sometimes, your doctor will prescribe medication for cataracts. It is essential to make this decision after consulting your trusted ophthalmologist who will perform a detailed evaluation of your complete physical condition to decide upon the eye cataract treatment.
Some cataracts in their initial stages can resolve on their own. However, the advancement of cataracts can interfere with vision. It necessitates a cataract-removal surgery. Cataract surgery is the only option to treat advanced cataracts of the lens. It is preferable to undergo cataract-removal surgery at an early stage. Delaying the surgery deteriorates vision and also increases the risk of inflammation and glaucoma in the eyes. Surgery is necessary because prompt removal of a cataract can help you avoid future complications and improve your vision. One of the first things you should do if you notice any symptoms is to consult an ophthalmologist and discuss treatment options.
A correct diagnosis of a cataract is critical. An ophthalmologist will perform a series of tests to make a diagnosis.
A cataract is essentially cloudiness in the lens of your eye. It is fairly common in people over the age of 40 years and if you are wondering what causes cataracts, read on to find out more.
The lens in your eyes gets thicker, less flexible, and less transparent as you get older. Proteins and fibres within the lenses deteriorate and clump together due to ageing and other medical disorders clouding the lenses.
The cloudiness gets denser as the cataract progresses. A cataract prevents your retina from receiving a clearly defined image by scattering and blocking light as it travels through the lens. Your eyesight becomes hazy as a result, and this is what causes cataracts. Though age is the most common determinant, other factors may contribute to a cataract.
Apart from age, you are also more vulnerable to developing a cataract. Cataract reasons include:
The majority of age-related cataracts appear gradually. Other cataracts, such as those in young people or those with diabetes, can develop more quickly.
Cataracts can have a negative effect on daily living. Routine tasks like driving and reading become more challenging when the vision deteriorates. Cataracts typically appear as people get older. Although it happens rarely, cataracts can develop in the eyes of both adults and children. Since the clouding only affects a small portion of the eye lens, the early signs of cataracts are hardly noticeable.
Cataract treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical cataract treatments.
Non-surgical Cataract treatments are preferred when the cataract is in its early stage.
The non-surgical treatments are centered around improving the overall vision. The doctors examine the extent of cataracts, modify the eye prescription accordingly and suggest strategies for vision improvement like:
Cataracts at advanced stages can interfere with daily living, and non-surgical treatments render ineffective in such instances. The only alternative is undergoing cataract-removal surgery. Cataract removal surgery involves the extraction of the clouded lens and the insertion of a clear artificial lens. The surgery can be performed by one of the following procedures:
Laser and Phacoemulsification are advanced procedures that are very effective and the recovery is swift.
You may become more sensitive to the sun and find it more difficult to engage in daily activities if you have cataract. If you experience any of these signs, eye drops for cataracts or surgery might be beneficial.
Your ophthalmologist will decide if surgery is necessary after a complete eye examination. If the cataract is large enough to crowd the inside of the eye, which could lead to elevated pressure in the eye, surgery may be advised. Medications for cataracts may be prescribed at the discretion of the ophthalmologist
Your doctor will perform several tests a week or two before your treatment to gauge your eye’s size and shape and select the best lens for you. Before surgery, you won’t be allowed to eat or drink anything for 12 hours.
Although you will be awake during the surgery, your doctor will use medication to numb your eye so that you won’t feel any pain. They might also administer a sedative to you.
Typically, the procedure lasts well under an hour. Your surgeon will make a very small incision in the cornea, occasionally with the use of a laser. They will insert a little tool through this to gently break up the cataract and suck it out.
The new lens, which is made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic, will then be installed, and the cut will be stitched up. You’ll likely need two separate procedures, usually spaced a few weeks apart if you have cataracts in both eyes.
The anaesthesia may cause you to feel drowsy or a little “odd,” but this should only last a short while. For a few days after surgery, your eyes could feel slightly irritated and sensitive to light.
You can resume exercising after about a week, and your ophthalmologist will inform you of any additional restrictions and when you can drive again following cataract surgery. After a month, and with your doctor’s consent, you can soon resume all of your favourite activities.
A cataract is a common vision defect among the older population of India. According to studies, about 74% of adults of or above 60 years of age have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery.
In this condition, the transparent lens of our eye blocks or scatters the light, disrupting clear vision. This cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens during the surgery, aiding in clear and normal vision. Hence, the surgery is also called lens replacement surgery.
Although it is a safe procedure with a nearly 98% success rate, you must get it done by an expert ophthalmologist to avoid any possible risks or side effects and get the best results.
Dr. Deepa Gupta is a highly accomplished and renowned ophthalmologist with extensive experience in treating both simple and complex conditions. After completing her Master’s, Dr. Gupta took Super Speciality Training in Cataract, Cornea, and Refractive Surgery as a Senior Resident for 3 years. Since getting her Master’s degree, she has had around 12 years of experience in the same field to date. Dr. Deepa Gupta is a fellow of the International Council of Ophthalmologists, UK. She is also an active member of the Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOS), the Gurgaon Ophthalmological Society (GOS), and the All India Ophthalmological Society. She has presented and published several of her works for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Deepa Gupta specializes in inpatient and outpatient treatments and is proficient in complex surgical procedures like no injection stitchless phacoemulsification. Due to her thorough knowledge and expert precision, Dr. Deepa Gupta has a healing success rate of over 95% and has treated over five hundred patients.
To get the best consultation, diagnosis, and cost-effective treatment for cataracts, book an appointment with Dr. Deepa Gupta now!