Cataract still continues to be the leading cause of treatable blindness. As we get older, the lens inside the eye gradually becomes misty or cloudy. When the vision becomes hazy, the condition is known as cataract. Fortunately, it is treatable by an operation called phacoemulsification by which the cloudy lens is removed and is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. Generally, cataract develops in old people but some children can also have this condition by birth or it could develop later on. Such cases are usually dealt in a different way when compared to cataract in adults.
Normally, when you look at something, the light passes through the front of your eye and is focused on the retina by the lens. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light cannot pass through the lens and you will notice problems in your vision. By far, the commonest reason for the cataract is due to age (growing older). People over the age of 55 will have some cataract and all of us will develop cataract in time. Apart from that, diabetes, trauma, certain medications can also cause cataract. In general, the cause of cataract will not affect the way it is removed and replaced with artificial lens.
- The symptoms of cataract vary but some symptoms are common for most people. For example, you may feel that your sight has become hazy; you may feel you need more light to see distant objects clearly but you may still able to read clearly; your vision may be poor at night.
- Another common symptom is the problem with bright lights, you may experience a lot of glare or you may find that the headlights of a vehicle dazzle you more than they used to. Occasionally, you may feel that your ‘short sight’ is worsening and you might want to get stronger glasses.
- Initially, one eye may be affected more than the other, but eventually we develop cataract in both eyes. If you notice any of these changes, you should have your eyes tested by an ophthalmologist who will be able to restore your vision by a cataract surgery.
- At Apollo Day Surgery, we have advanced and innovative technology to facilitate cataract surgery and the consultant ophthalmologists with us have extensive experience in performing the cataract surgery using this latest technology and have the best knowledge about various artificial lens which are suitable for each patient.
What happens during the surgery?
During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed using latest technique via a small incision and an artificial lens is folded and inserted through this small incision without the need for stitches. Cataract surgery can be done through an even smaller incision called Micro Incision Cataract Surgery (MICS) with patients returning to work the next day. Generally, patients are instructed to arrive one hour before the surgery and they can go home after 3 to 4 hours on the same day. Cataract surgery usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes and it is performed under topical anaesthesia (no injection) or local anaesthesia.
Generally, glasses are required after cataract surgery to fine-tune your vision, but if you choose to have multifocal lenses then you can manage to see without glasses for the majority of your day-to-day activities. The right type of artificial lens which will be appropriate for your eyes can be chosen based on your needs after discussing with experts.
After the surgery, you will be asked to use eye drops for a few weeks and your vision will improve and stabilize over few days. It is very important to follow the do’s and don’ts as instructed after the surgery which will help in speedy recovery. If you have cataract in both eyes, the second eye can be operated on within the next few days.