cataract is the condition in which the eye becomes opaque, and seems to be covered by a cloudy substance. This is because the crystalline lens of the eye develops this cloudy substance. If left untreated cataract can impair vision leading to blindness. It varies from moderate cloudiness to a complete obstruction of light to the eye.
The lens of the eye is responsible for focusing light on objects and relaying it back to the brain to produce images. The lens resides in a capsule, which is a flexible tissue layer. The cells within this capsule die and accumulate, and crowd the lens, which results in an opaque substance obstructing the lens.
Patients affected with cataract cannot see clearly. They will only be able to distinguish light and dark. The condition when the lens is totally opaque is called ripe cataract.
– A previous surgery on the eye
– Over-exposure to sun’s ultra violet rays
– Use of certain medication or steroids like cortisone
– Smoking and drinking
– Exposure to radiation
– Diabetes mellitus
– Genetic factors
– Acquired during fetal development
– Eye injury
– Blurry vision or double vision
– Heightened sensitivity to light
– Inability to read without above-normal lighting
– Reduced ability to navigate during night
– Inability to drive at night
Treatment for cataract is generally surgery. The crystalline lens is removed and replaced with a new one. A capsulotomy or an incision is made on the capsule holding the lens. From this opening the lens is surgically removed. Even in this surgery there are two types. It is namely extra-capsular and intra-capsular surgery. Extra-capsular surgery is done by removing only the lens, while taking care not to damage the capsule.
Intra-capsular surgery is done by removing both the lens along with the capsule. The latter surgical procedure is rare. The transplanted lens is a plastic lens, which is positioned so as to stay there permanently as a natural lens.
Cataract operations are performed under local anesthesia. The patient is discharged usually the same day.