CATARACT is a clouding of the lens of the eye. It is a very common ocular disease. It usually affects older people as clouding of the lens is caused because of reduced metabolism. However, cataract can be a hereditary disease or develop in young individuals in association with other ocular diseases or traumas, different generalized diseases or harmful environmental factors.
A healthy lens is transparent and transmits light into the retina. Clouding of the lens results in loss of transparency, it becomes opaque, thus the light does not reach the retina and leads to blurred vision. Progressing disease causes complete blindness.
The main symptom of cataract is gradually worsening vision in one or both eyes. Symptoms may include blurry or double vision, trouble with driving at night, and trouble seeing on sunny days; glasses that helped before are no longer suitable. With disease progression vision deteriorates and finally you can only see the difference between light and darkness. If untreated, increased ocular pressure occurs and glaucoma develops.
The only treatment method for this disease is surgery to remove the cloudy lens, which is then replaced by a clear artificial lens resulting in significant vision improvement. The lens is crushed by a laser inside the eye and is then aspirated through a very fine (only 2.2-3.2) incision, and the artificial lens implanted instead of the natural lens.
Cataract surgery is carried out under local anaesthesia, general anaesthesia is not required. The patient remains awake but does not experience any pain. The surgery usually takes between half an hour to one hour, if the cataract is old or complicated surgery may be even longer. The surgery is carried out in an out-patient setting, so the patient can be discharged on the same day. When the dressings are removed the following day, the patient enjoys significantly improved vision. Eye drops should be used for a few weeks after the surgery and vision will gradually improve. If no concomitant ocular diseases are present, vision is restored by 50-100 percent in about 95 percent of patients.
The ophthalmologist will inform you about the course of surgery, potential complications and what to do after the surgery.
About cataract surgery read HERE