Cataract is essentially a condition in which the lens(es) of the eyes get clouded causing diminished vision. Cataracts occur because protein builds up in the lens of the eye and it is common among old-aged adults, however, it could occur in young adults and children as well. Cataracts cause the eyes to look foggy, clouded and milky in appearance.
Who is at a Risk of Cataract?
- Adults above the age of 50 as their eye muscles get weaker
- Individuals with poor lifestyle habits such as prolonged use of Steroids, Smoking or Alcohol abuse
- Environmental Factors such as over-exposure to harmful UV rays of the sun.
- People with diseases auto-immune diseases like Diabetes.
- People with Eye injuries.
- People with history eye diseases in the family.
- People with problems of Obesity.
- Individuals with Hypertension
CATARACT Surgery Procedure
Cataract surgery is generally performed one eye at a time. Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery most of the time which means it does not require an overnight stay at the hospital or health care facility. The Cataract eye surgery can be performed via two different procedures.
Traditional Surgery Procedure
- The scalpel blade is used to create an incision in the cornea by hand.
- Handheld Instrument is used to open the up the sac/capsule holding the eye lens with cataract formation.
- The Cataract is then fragmented into smaller pieces.
- Fragmented Lens is then removed using suction.
- Artificial Lens is implanted to replace the previously natural cloudy lens and it is stitched up
Laser Cataract Surgery Procedure
- A device named LENSAR is used to break the cataract.
- Laser (Femtosecond Laser) creates corneal incisions to access the cataract.
- Cataract is removed using suction.
- Artificial Lens is implanted into the eye once the cataract is removed.
- Zepto cataract surgery is basically is another type of cataract removal procedure it is basically a procedure in which a handheld disposable device is used to create a strong, clear-cut and precise incision in the crystalline lens of the eyes.
- Zepto surgery is in many ways much better, economical as well as less complicated than the femtosecond laser cataract operation.
Types of Cataracts
Cataracts are among on the main causes for loss of vision among adults over the age of 45 and remain the principal cause of blindness across the world. It has been estimated that over 1.3 billion people are living with one form or the other of this disease.
In total there are three basic types of cataracts:
- Subcapsular Cataract – Cataracts occurring at the back of the eye lens
- Nuclear Cataract – Occurs in the central zone of the eye’s lens. (also called nucleus)
- Cortical Cataract – White Wedge-like opacity which starts at the edge of the eye lens but slowly works its way to the centre (Nucleus)
Catching Cataract Early
Cataracts start interfering with the day-to-day activities of the individual like reading, writing, driving among others hence, it becomes essential to address it as soon as possible. Basically, cataracts make it hard for light to pass through clearly and interferes with smooth vision. However, cataract is not a painful condition and it presents many symptoms before it starts showing drastic effects. Here are some symptoms that you have a cataract. You should immediately consult with an eye doctor if you start noticing any of these symptoms:
- Night Vision becomes blurry
- Sensitivity to Bright Lights
- Pale-yellow/ Clouded Vision
- Halos at light sources
- blurry vision and/or Double Vision
The symptoms of cataract are very subtle and it is also possible that you may not experience all of them at once. However, the cataract symptoms become noticeable slowly as the condition intensifies and it is necessary to consult with an eye care specialist as soon as these symptoms appear even the slightest bit.
Recovery after the Cataract Surgery
The laser cataract surgery is generally a simplistic complication-free procedure which lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to 20 minutes for one eye. However, you can expect to be at the eye clinic for anywhere around 1 and a half hour to two hours. The extra time is taken in preparing for the surgery i.e. dilating your pupils, administering pre-op medication as well as going over the briefs of what to expect during and after the surgery. After the surgery, the surgeon might want to do a post-op evaluation and instructions for recovery after the surgery.
It is advisable not to drive right after the surgery and have someone accompany you for the surgery who can drive you back as well.
In addition to this, medicated eye drops will be administered to you and you will have to use them for a few weeks. Protective eye shields need to be worn as well in addition to the eye drops to ensure the safety of the eyes.
In order for the eyes to fully recover after such an intensive surgical procedure, in the first week it is advisable to avoid:
- Heavy lifting and strenuous activities (Nothing more than 12kg)
- Bending and similar intensive exercises that might to put stress on the eyes
- Advisable to not go to swimming pools, hot tubs and keep eyes closed during showers since water splashed onto the eyes can cause infections.
- Activities that might expose the eyes to dust or any other infection causing elements.
A good ophthalmologist will inform you well about precautions before as well as after the surgery along with telling you how to take or of the eyes post-recovery period.
Consult with our expert eye doctors at EyeMantra where we operate with only the best and the latest surgical procedures and strive to improve the quality of life and provide best eye care facilities and the most pocket-friendly prices.
Dr. Shweta Jain
Dr. Rajiv Mohan
Dr. Sanjiv Mohan
MS from Dharwad university, Belgaum.
Trained for higher surgical training in Scotland U.K for 2 years.
Experience: Dr. Sanjiv Mohan has an experience of over 18 years as an Ophthalmologist”
Frequently Asked Questions
In advanced cases there is a complete loss of sight and lens becomes pearly white in colour.
If you experience any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Fading of colours
- Seeing halos around lights
- An increased sensitivity to glare
- A distortion of vision that makes objects appear as if you’re looking at them through a veil.
Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all cases of blindness in all the countries, luckily its easily treatable in the present age through a simple surgery.
Some infants are also afflicted by cataract, which is caused as a result of infections during pregnancy. The disorder can also be a symptom of metabolic disease affecting the body’s processing of carbohydrates, amino acids, calcium or copper among infants and young kids. If left untreated, cataracts might also lead to blindness.
The eye may feel gritty, and sometimes you may experience some mild headache. These symptoms are common. The discomfort should rapidly improve over the next 24 hours. There should be no worsening of your symptoms. If your discomfort or a headache should deteriorate, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Your vision will normally be much better on Day 2. Sometimes there can be some blurring or misting in the eye, but this should improve over the course of the day. If you feel your vision is becoming more blurred, contact your hospital immediately.
If you take part in a sport that risks a poke in the eye, you should discuss returning to these activities with your surgeon before the operation. You should not go swimming for the first 2 to 4 weeks to minimize the risk of infection. When cycling in the first few weeks following surgery, keep your sunglasses on to reduce the impact of dust.
Jobs that are more physically demanding and involve exposure to liquids or dust might require a more graduated return to full activities, but are best discussed with your surgeon.
You may opt to choose for lenses which provide you vision for distance and near. In such cases, dependency on glasses is reduced.
Routine surgery can only correct the spherical component of the eye leaving behind the cylinder power which has to be later corrected by additional prescription glasses.
With advancements in surgical techniques and IOL (artificial lens) designs, today both spherical and cylinder components of the eye can easily be corrected with the highest precision.
The cylinder component in Cataract Surgery can be corrected by three ways
- LRI or Limbal Relaxing Incisions: In this technique, a Femto Laser is used to give highly precise incisions at the periphery of the cornea to induce cylinder correction. Since these incisions are given by a laser, it can only be coupled with a Femto Cataract Surgery.
- Toric Lenses with Verion Digital Axis Marking: Toric lenses are special lenses which have both cylinder, and spherical component build in one lens. Since cylinder axis varies in individual eyes, the lens has to be aligned to the specific axis of the individual. In such cases, even a minor deviation from the original axis can cause significant disturbance in final visual outcomes. Now with the introduction of Verion Digital Axis Marking system, these toric lenses can be aligned with outmost precision, up to 1 degree.
- Toric Lenses with Manual Marking: As discussed above, the final visual outcome in a toric lens depends on how precisely it is aligned to the original cylindrical axis of the eye. Since the manual markings cannot be as precise as digital markings, the manual system may give slightly inferior results compared to the digital system.
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