We have come across the word cataract many times. Cataracts are usually developed in elder people and can be easily cured. Let us study more about the subject in detail.
Basic anatomy of eye
The white portion that covers most part of our eyes is called sclera. The round, colored segment is iris and a small aperture in it is called pupil. Conjunctiva is a transparent lining that covers sclera and inside of eyelids. Lens are located behind the pupil. When light rays fall on our eyes, they are focused by pupil and further by lens that creates an image of object on retina. Cone shaped cells present in our eyes enable us to perceive rainbow of colors.
What is cataract?
Cataract is a type of eye disorder that causes blurred vision. In this disorder, lens become cloudy resulting in vision stress. It develops slowly and can be formed in both the eyes, but not simultaneously. If left untreated, it may lead to blindness.
Symptoms of cataract:
Blurred or faded vision, sensitivity to light, double vision in affected eye, difficulty in seeing at night etc. are few symptoms of cataract.
Types of cataract:
- Nuclear cataract: This type of cataract is formed in middle portion of the lens and may change color of nucleus to either brown or yellow. This is a common type of cataract that is generally caused due to aging.
- Posterior capsular cataracts: Posterior capsular cataracts are wedge shaped (spoke like) and are formed in the cortex of the lens ( part of the lens that surrounds nucleus).
- Congenital cataracts: Congenital cataract is a type of cataract disorder which is present since birth of the baby or formed during baby’s first year. It is a rare type of cataract and is caused mainly due to injury to eye or poor nutrition of fetus in the initial months of development.
- Traumatic cataract: Traumatic cataract is caused due to injury to eye. It may not develop immediately, but may take several years to form protein clumps of cataract.
Types of cataract surgeries:
Monofocal cataract surgery and multifocal cataract surgery are two widely and globally implemented types of cataract surgeries.
- Unifocal cataract surgery: Unifocal cataract surgery is medically coined as monofocal cataract surgery. It comprises removal of cloudy lens from eye and is replaced by intraocular (IOL) lens, i.e. in layman’s language synthetic lens.
Monofocal lens implants work on the principle of adjusting focal point in such a way that only objects that are at distance can be seen clearly. For reading purposes or to optimize near vision, use of glasses is preferred. Focal point of such lens is precise and cannot be adjusted to different angles. Patients who have developed cataract in both the eyes, generally prefer to opt for unifocal lens implant and use spectacles for reading purposes or see nearby objects distinctly. Cost of unifocal surgery is less as compared to multifocal surgery.
- Multifocal cataract surgery: In this cataract surgery, defected cloudy eye lens is replaced by intraocular multifocal lens. This is a tiered lens and hence, provides different focal points to make vision clear. Winning point of this lens implant is that it enables patient to perceive near, far and intermediate objects, sans the help of glasses.
Intraocular lens implant may also be used to treat presbyopia. Presbyopia is an age related eye disorder wherein the patient is not able to focus on nearby objects vividly. Some patients may however face night driving vision problem after multifocal cataract surgery.
- Micro incision cataract surgery (MICS): Micro incision cataract surgery is performed through very small 2.4mm or smaller incision. This helps in reducing loss of endothelial cells, minimizing trauma of recovery post surgery and improving wound strength. Recovery time for this surgery is just few hours. It is one of the most effective cataract surgery treatment available today. Cost of this surgery in major Indian cities can be found here.
Post surgery care
Here are few tips that you can follow for speedy recovery and post surgical care:
- It is recommended that you wear sunglasses whenever you are going outdoors to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, dust and grime. Avoid watching lot of television as this can put undue stress on your eye muscles
- Don’t drive immediately on the first day after your surgery
- Do not rub your eyes. If you are facing some irritation in your eyes, it is better to wash your hands than rub them.
- Avoid swimming or exposing your eyes to hot water
How to prevent cataract?
Eyes are one of the most vital and complex organs of our body. They are mirror to seas of emotions. It is indispensable that we take proper care of our eyes to protect these delicate organs. Our eyes are constantly exposed to dust, sunlight and various other elements. Hence, one should always wear sunglasses when outdoors and try to avoid sun exposure. Also, people who are constantly working on their computers need to take extra-care of their eyes. They should wash their eyes after every hour or two and wear spectacles that protect their eyes from radiation. Use of eye drops will help in moisturising macular tissues. Visit to your ophthalmologist once a month or two will keep you updated about your eye health.
One should also consume foods rich in vitamin A (scientific term – retinol). Orange-yellow colored foods like carrots, squash, mango, papaya, etc. contain pigment called beta-carotene which is important to maintain good eye health and vision.
Author’s Bio – Renuka Agarwal is certified in home health aide from Healthcare sector. She possesses proficient knowledge about various health related issues,diseases and treatments.