Cataract is a condition common in the population aged 40 and above, the incidence increasing with age. In this condition the natural lens within the eye becomes opaque leading to failing vision. Apart from age, prolonged use of steroids, exposure to ultraviolet rays (due to non-use of dark glasses while going out in the sun), medical conditions such as diabetes and eye injuries are some other major causes.
Surgery is the sole effective treatment for cataract in which the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). In modern cataract surgery, the cataract is dissolved using ultrasound waves; this is called Phacoemulsification.
Symptoms of a cataract
- Gradual diminution of vision
- Illuminated objects like the moon, bulbs etc appear more than one
- Foggy vision
- Reduced vision in bright light (in sunlight, of the light of vehicles at light)
- Improved near vision
- Fading of colours
Detection of a cataract
Cataract can be detected through a thorough examination of the eye by an eye specialist and its severity be assessed. Development of cataract varies among individuals and also between the two eyes in the same individual. Most cataracts developing because of aging, take years to set in. However, cataracts in younger patients and in those with diabetes may develop rapidly.
Right time for surgery – Myths & Truth
Surgery should be done when the cataract causes disturbances in normal day to day activities like reading, watching TV, driving etc. Occasionally the doctor may advise an early surgery if other complications (like Angle Closure Glaucoma) are suspected.
Delay in surgery causes progressive deterioration of vision which is a major cause for old age accidents like fall in the bathroom or missing a step on the stairs. The cataract also prevents the ophthalmologist from being able to examine the Retina lying behind the lens; this may lead to retinal anomalies being left undetected.
Contrary to our Indian social belief it is easier and safer to remove an immature cataract compared to a matured one.
Weather has no effect upon the safety and results of Cataract surgery.
Choice of Lens
A range of choice for IOLs is available at MPEH which includes mono-focal/multi-focal lens and astigmatism-correcting mono/multi focal lens amongst others. Through investigative tools such as iTrace, IOL Master and Orbscan, we help the patient determine the lens most suitable for his eye. Ultimately, the patient can make a decision depending upon their budget and lifestyle-related priorities. This is the process of ‘Customized Cataract Surgery’.
Cataract Surgery is a daycare, microscopic surgery normally performed under local anesthesia. The cloudy lens is removed and a permanent, artificial intra ocular lens (IOL) is implanted in its place.
At our centre, Phacoemulsification (explained above) is performed using the world’s most acclaimed and updated machines. Normally, the process is performed through an incision of 2.8 mm but we use the MICS (Micro-incision Cataract surgery) technique in which an incision of only 1.8 mm is taken.
Post surgery, the patient can resume almost all his routine activities fairly soon.