All you need to know about Cataract?

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Having reached 50 to 55 years of age, this question often comes to one’s mind. Do I have Cataract? If yes, is it ready for surgery?

Let us first understand what is a cataract. Inside our eyes, there is a lens which helps to focus light rays on the retina. This lens is normally clear. But due to certain reasons like congenital (since birth), injury or most commonly aging process the lens becomes cloudy and this cloudy lens is called cataract.

What are the symptoms of cataract? Cataract in initial stages may or may not affect the eyesight. It can cause blurred vision, difficulty in bright light and night driving may be especially difficult. Glass power may change frequently and vision may not be satisfactory even with new glasses. Sometimes it can even cause improvement in near vision. There may be a change in hue of different objects and white may appear more yellowish.

When to get the surgery done?
Till date, no eye drops or any medicine tablets are available which can revert the cataract. The only option and treatment available to cure cataract is cataract surgery. Whenever the cataract causes visual problems in daily activities, it is time for cataract surgery. Sometimes even mild cataract may cause lots of symptoms demanding early surgery. Just presence of cataract with no visual symptoms does not necessitate early surgery. But leaving the cataract for too long can make the cataract too hard causing technical difficulties during surgery. If the cataract is allowed to completely ripe, it may lead to painful red eye with raised intraocular pressure so the cataract should not be allowed to ‘ripe’ to that extent.

How to prepare for cataract surgery in presence of other medical problems?
Presence of uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus may accelerate the progression of cataract. Medical conditions like Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus should be well controlled before cataract surgery. The cardiac condition should be stable prior to surgery. If one is on blood thinning tablets or medicine for prostate problems, it has to be brought to the notice of the eye surgeon. Any infective focus in the body should be completely treated with antibiotics before cataract surgery otherwise the infection can even spread to the eye after surgery with serious consequences.

Cataract surgery is a day care surgery. It is the comment ophthalmic surgery performed. With modern technologies, the success rate is very high and visual improvement very satisfactory ( if there is no pre-existing eye disease).

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