What Is Cataract?
Cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The natural lens of the eye is usually clear and flexible, able to focus light in the light-sensitive membrane that coats the inner back surface of the eye (the retina). By about 40-50 years of age, the lens begins to lose its clarity or transparency. This is called cataract. Usually cataract is caused as an aging process but sometimes can occur earlier, even in babies, though these are rare.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cataract?
- Sensitivity to glare
- Hazy or blurry vision
- Difficulty seeing in dim light or at night
- Seeing multiple images around a single object
- Inability to see differences in finer shades of color
- Seeing halos around light
- Frequent changes of glasses in adults
What Factors Speed Up The Formation Of Cataract?
- Inflammation of the inner parts of the eye
- Injuries to the eye
- Long-term use of corticosteroids (especially those taken orally)
- Radiation exposure
- Surgery for other eye problems
- Too much exposure to ultraviolet light
How Is Cataract Diagnosed?
A standard eye exam and slit-lamp viewing of the eye is usually sufficient to diagnose cataract, but other tests such as a retinal examination or intro-ocular pressure measurement are required to rule out any other co-existing causes for defective vision.
What Is The Treatment For Cataract?
Cataract can only be treated by surgery, though in early stages vision can be improved by better prescribed glasses, better lighting, and use of sunglasses to avoid glare. Cataract surgery involves the removal of the natural lens that has the cataract and the implantation of an artificial intra-ocular lens.
This is done either by a manual method or with the assistance of a machine (phacoemulsification).
Most cataract surgeries are done on a day care basis and do not need admission overnight. In adults, most cataract surgeries are done under local anesthesia and usually a patch is left over the operated eye for about a day.