Cataract

Cataract occurs when the natural lens of the eye (crystalline limpid) blurs. The lens of the eye (crystallized) is clear and is behind the iris.

cataracts

Through it the light passes to reach the retina, which is at the back of the inside of the eye, and this is how we are able to see images.

To understand better how the eye works, let's take a camera as an example.

In the same way that the lens of the camera focuses light on the photographic film, the lens of the eye also focuses light rays on the retina at the back of the eye. If the camera lens is not clean, then the photograph it takes will be blurred.

Similarly, when the natural lens of the eye blurs, the sharpness of the image that reaches the retina decreases, resulting in poor vision.

Cataract occurs when the natural lens of the eye (crystalline limpid) blurs. The lens of the eye (crystallized) is clear and is behind the iris.

cataracts

Through it the light passes to reach the retina, which is at the back of the inside of the eye, and this is how we are able to see images.

To understand better how the eye works, let's take a camera as an example.

In the same way that the lens of the camera focuses light on the photographic film, the lens of the eye also focuses light rays on the retina at the back of the eye. If the camera lens is not clean, then the photograph it takes will be blurred.

Similarly, when the natural lens of the eye blurs, the sharpness of the image that reaches the retina decreases, resulting in poor vision.

Symptioms & Precautions

The usual symptoms for those who have cataracts are:

  • Blurred and distorted vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • double vision in one eye
  • poor night vision
  • colors look less vivid
  • seeing glares and halo's around lights
  • having to regularly change prescription eye-glasses

If cataract is not treated and/or left to mature, it can eventually lead to blindness. Fortunately, there are safe and effective solutions to cure cataracts.

What causes cataracts and who does it usually effect?

Cataract occurs with the normal aging of the human body (senile cataract), and is estimated to affect 50% of people aged 65 and over and 70% of persons above 75 years of age. However, young people, even infants, may experience cataracts. In this case it can be caused by illness or injury, drugs, radiation, and in the rarest of cases you can be born with it (congenital cataract).

Prevention and Advice

Unfortunately cateracts isn't something that can be prevented. When there is evidence of it though, immediate intervention is necessary as to avoid any difficulties that a mature cataract brings to the operating room.

Since sunlight can be associated with the pathogenesis of the cataract, it is advisable to protect our eyes from the sun from an early age with appropriate sunglasses, that is, those that protect our eyes from the harmful ultraviolet and high energy rays of the sun.

Treating Cataracts

When the natural lens of the eye that helps focus the light is not clear, but over time becomes cloudy, cataract occurs.

In the early stages of the cataract, glasses can help improve vision, but as it progresses, it must be treated not by drugs but with surgery, as to replace the natural lens of the eye with a clear, permanent artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

It is neither treated nor prevented by drugs. Surgical treatment remains the only therapeutic option today.

Most of the forms of the cataract are treated with the method of phagocytosis and the insertion of the most advanced type of intraoculars.

Different types of cataract surgery

• Surgery with phacoemulsification (ultrasound)

Ultrasonic phacoemission surgery is performed through microscopic incisions that result in the blurred lens being dismantled and removed with ultrasound and a clear, transparent, intraocular (artificial lens) being replaced via the same microscopic incision. There is rapid healing, since no sutures are needed and the patient returns directly to his daily activities. This method is very fast and efficient.

The surgery is done with local anesthesia which is given via eye-drops. Only in very special cases is anesthesia needed by injection.

• Femtosecond Laser

Femtolaser appeared a few years ago and helps us in the early stages of surgery. Specifically, it aids in making the small incisions more accurate to the lens blur. Thereafter, the fragmented pieces of the lens are removed with phacoemulsification.

The use of the laser eliminates the use of the small scapel which is of about 2 millimeters, since both microscopic incisions in the cornea, as well as the incision of the capsule, can be performed with the laser. 

The "downside" of this method is that the cost of the surgery is slightly increased.

Secondary cataract surgery

A secondary cataract is needed if a cataract surgery has taken place, and months or even years later, vision becomes cloudy again. The intraocular lens placed during cataract surgery normally lasts for a lifetime without needing maintenance or replacement, but in some cases, the natural lumen that supports the new lens becomes dull. It can be treated quickly and painlessly with laser (Yag Laser) in 1-2 minutes per eye.

Cataract removal surgery is one of the most frequent, safe and reliable surgeries in the world. It is a very simple procedure for the patient and can bring a significant improvement in the quality of vision and consequently in the quality of an individual's life.