The human crystalline lens, which is clear and transparent, is part of the focusing mechanism of the eye. With age, the lens becomes cloudy and opaque, thereby hampering normal vision. Any opacity in the crystalline lens, which leads to decreased vision, is cataract.
CAUSES OF CATARACT
Ageing is the most common cause. With age, proteins of the eye lens get altered and opacified leading to cataract. Other causes include congenital and developmental anomalies, trauma, inflammation of the eye, metabolic diseases like Diabetes, Hypothyroidism etc.,
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CATARACT
Cataract makes simple tasks difficult and in some cases impossible to perform.
THIS HAPPENS ON ACCOUNT OF:
Cloudy or Blurred Vision
Changes in one's perception of colours
Sensitivity to bright lamps or sunlight
Poor night vision
Difficulty in driving especially at night
Frequent changes in eye glass prescription
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CATARACT
Surgery is the only course of treatment for cataract. There are two options available for cataract surgery
CONVENTIONAL CATARACT SURGERY OR EXTRA CAPSULAR CATARACT EXTRACTION (SICS/ECCE)
Injections are given near the eye
Requires an incision of 6 mm
The cloudy eye lens is removed in one piece
A hard plastic lens is implanted
Final glass prescription could take even upto 4-6 weeks
Conventional Surgery Wound
MICROINCISION CATARACT SURGERY (PHACOEMULSIFICATION)
Requires a very small incision of 1.5 - 2.8mm
Cataract Extraction with Phacoemulsification is followed by foldable lens implantation
Walk-in Walk-out procedure
Stitchless, bloodless, painless surgery
Chances of infection are very low
Minimum post surgery precautions
Quicker healing and recovery
ADVANTAGES OF PHACOEMULSIFICATION WITH FOLDABLE IOL OVER CONVENTIONAL CATARACT SURGERY
It allows for a injectionless, stitchless, painless, no bandage surgery Drops of local anaesthetic agent are used instead of an injection in the eye, thus leading to a walk-in walk out procedure
Early visual rehabilitation for the patient Minimum curvatural changes occur in the eye following surgery Post surgery, the wound is very secure Final glasses can be prescribed within two weeks
In some cases, the patient is able to see almost immediately following the surgery, although most patients experience clear vision after one or two days
NEED FOR GLASSES AFTER PHACO SURGERY
You may need to wear glasses only to fine -tune your vision. These spectacles have normal lenses unlike thick lenses used in the past. If unifocal IOL is used, near vision glasses are almost always required.
ACTIVITIES TO BE RESTRICTED AFTER PHACO SURGERY
Normal activities including walking, reading, writing, watching television etc. may be resumed soon after the surgery. However, during the first week after the surgery, it is better to avoid strenuous activities & avoid exposing the eye to water or dust.
DIET RESTRICTION AFTER PHACO SURGERY
There are absolutely no diet restrictions after phaco and you can continue with your normal diet. However, diet regulation advised for other diseases like Diabetes, High blood pressure, etc must continue.
DURATION OF THE PROCEDURE
With the advanced technique of the cataract surgery, removal of the cataract takes just about 2-5 minutes and the entire procedure would take about 15 minutes.
MULTIFOCAL IOL :
The latest multifocal IOLs are designed to provide good distance vision, intermediate and near vision. They reduce the patient's dependence on glasses for routine activities. Unlike conventional IOL it has multiple zones of different focal lengths that bring everything from near to far into clear focus. These lenses can be used only for suitable patients.