We have come across the word cataract many times. Cataracts are usually developed in elderly people and can be easily cured. Detection of any eye disorder such as a cataract can be evaluated with the help of an Eye check up at Your Eye Guardian at an early stage.
Let us study more about the subject in detail.
Basic anatomy of the eye
The white portion that covers most part of our eyes is called the sclera. The round, colored segment is the iris, and a small aperture in it is called the pupil. Conjunctiva is a transparent lining that covers the sclera and inside of eyelids. The lens is located behind the pupil. When light rays fall on our eyes, they are focused by the pupil, and lens t0 creates an image on the retina. Cone-shaped cells present in our eyes enable us to perceive a rainbow of colors.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a type of eye disorder that causes blurred vision. In this disorder, the lens becomes 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 the affected eye, difficulty in seeing at night, etc., are few cataract symptoms.
Types of cataract
- Nuclear cataract: This type of cataract is formed in the middle portion of the lens and may change the color of the 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 the nucleus).
- Congenital cataracts: Congenital cataract is a type of cataract disorder present since the birth of the baby or formed during the baby’s first year. It is a rare type of cataract and is caused mainly due to injury to the eye or poor nutrition of the fetus in the initial months of development.
- Traumatic cataract: Traumatic cataract is caused due to eye injury. It may not develop immediately but may take several years to form protein clumps of a cataract.
Types of cataract surgeries
Monofocal cataract surgery and multifocal cataract surgery are two widely and globally implemented types of cataract surgery.
Unifocal cataract surgery
Unifocal cataract surgery is medically coined as monofocal cataract surgery. It comprises removing the cloudy lens from the eye and is replaced by an intraocular (IOL) lens, i.e., in layman’s language synthetic lens.
Monofocal lens implants work on the principle of adjusting the focal point so that only objects at a distance can be seen clearly. For reading purposes or to optimize near vision, the use of glasses is preferred. The focal point of such a lens is precise and cannot be adjusted to different angles. Patients who have developed cataracts in both the eyes generally prefer to opt for a unifocal lens implant and use spectacles for reading purposes or see nearby objects distinctly. In addition, the 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 the multifocal intraocular lens. This is a tiered lens and hence, provides different focal points to make vision clear. The winning point of this lens implant is that it enables patients to perceive near, far, and intermediate objects, sans the help of glasses.
An intraocular lens implant may also be used to treat presbyopia. Presbyopia is an age-related eye disorder wherein the patient cannot focus on nearby objects vividly. Some patients may, however, face night driving vision problems after multifocal cataract surgery.
Micro incision cataract surgery (MICS)
Micro incision cataract surgery is performed through a very small 2.4mm or smaller incision. This helps reduce loss of endothelial cells, minimizing the trauma of recovery post-surgery, and improving wound strength. Recovery time for this surgery is just a few hours. It is one of the most effective cataract surgery treatments available today. The cost of this surgery in major Indian cities can be found here.
Here are few tips that you can follow for a speedy recovery and post-surgical care:
- It is recommended that you wear sunglasses whenever you are outdoors to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, dust, and grime. Also, avoid watching a 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 face 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?
The eyes are one of the most vital and complex organs of our body. They are mirrors to seas of emotions. Therefore, 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 every hour or two and wear spectacles that protect their eyes from radiation. In addition, the use of eye drops will help in moisturizing macular tissues. Visit 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). In addition, orange-yellow colored foods like carrots, squash, mango, papaya, etc., contain a pigment called beta-carotene, which is essential to maintain good eye health and vision.
Author’s Bio – Renuka Agarwal is a certified in-home health aide from the Healthcare sector. She possesses proficient knowledge about various health-related issues, diseases, and treatments.