Cataracts

published on: 25th august, 2021

Lens inside our eyes focuses rays of light on to retina helping us to see clear. This lens becomes cloudy with age and causes scattering and adequate entry of light into our eyes. This causes decrease as well as poor quality of vision even with glasses.

What are the symptoms of cataract?

You may have foggy or blurry vision. Some may experience glare or see double. Rarely you may have trouble seeing in the night or in daylight depending on the type of cataract.

What are the causes of cataract?

Aging is the most common cause starting around age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. Other reasons for cataracts include:

  • Family history of cataract.
  • Medical conditions like Diabetes
  • Eye diseases like long term inflammation inside eyes
  • Injury to eye, eye surgery or radiation on your upper body.
  • Long time exposure to sunlight (UV rays) without sunglasses.

Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Other cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors cannot predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.

 

How to diagnosis it?

Through a comprehensive eye exam with dilation of pupils. The special Slit lamp microscope is used to examine cornea, iris, lens and the other areas at the front of the eye. High power convex lens is used to see the back part of eye, the retina and optic nerve to rule out any abnormalities.

Evaluation includes tests for calculation of artificial lens power and to know the health of various parts of the eye like cornea and retina.

Is cataract treatable?

Cataracts can be removed only with surgery. If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, you don’t have to remove a cataract. You might just need a new eyeglass prescription to help you see better.

Risks of Cataract surgery

Like any surgery, cataract surgery carries risk of complications. Some of the common problems are:

Blurry vision, redness, swelling, watering and discomfort associated with early days after surgery. This is due to mild inflammation of front part of the eye or rise in eye pressure which clears of after few days on medications. Some important complications which can happen during surgery is related to damage of lens holding part of eye, drop of cataract remnants into back part of eye, dislocation of IOL and bleeding.

Rare complications after cataract surgery in the early follow up period may be due to infection, swelling of retina or later opacification of the membranous bag of IOL and retinal detachment. Cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgeries in the modern medicine.

After surgery care

It is very important to strictly follow the advice of doctor. This includes following ocular hygiene and general cleanliness after surgery. Water should not go into operated eyes at least for a week. Eyes should not be touched or pressed with unclean bare hands. Drops should be instilled as per the schedule one drop at a time without touching the nozzle of bottle and close the eyes gently for 1-2 minutes. There should be a gap of at least 5-10 minutes between two drops.

It’s better to wear a plastic eye shield over the operated eye while sleeping to protect it from undue pressure. Also it is better to avoid sleeping on the operated side.

One can take all chronic medications regularly as prescribed by your internist. Your diabetes and hypertension should be under good control. Glasses for reading will be checked at the end of 2 weeks. It is very important to come for follow up without fail as advised by your eye doctor. It’s good to have follow up at least once a year after cataract surgery.

Note: * The information on this website is not meant to be used to diagnose health conditions or to replace legitimate medical advice. All treatments mentioned are available for patients at Burjeel Hospital. Abu Dhabi at the concerned department.

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