lens is a transparent structure behind the brown coloured
visible part of the eye called Iris. It makes a clear
image of the objects on the retina of the eye .
Cataract is an opacity in the clear Lens.
patient with cataract formation
vision becomes Blurred or Hazy, which is one of the
most common and early symptom, Multiple Images and increased
Glare can also be main complaint. Night driving becomesdifficult
because of Glare from
Bright lights. other complaints include altered colour perception,
frequent change of the number/ glasses, reduced contrast etc.
usually develops from birth to any age (depends upon the cause),
in old age it also called senile cataract which may occur
in patients after the age of 50 years and others which may
be associated with heredity, local causes (Uveitis, Trauma,
Drugs) or systemic diseases like diabetes, infections etc.
If retina of the eye and other structures are normal except
cataract then almost full visual recovery is expected after
uneventful cataract operation.
is Cataract treated?
As cataract is an ageing process, cannot be stopped
but can be delayed. No medicines have yet been discovered
to treat cataract. Cataract can only be Surgically removed
and artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is
implanted after removal of cataract by various techniques
at the same time. The latest procedures are Phaco-emulsification
and Phaconit. Other popular techniques are ECCE with IOL which
is conventional surgery and ICCE (done earlier), PPL (Pars
is Phaco-emulsification Technique?
In this method the cataract
is emulsified by an Ultrasonic Phaco probe and removed with
suction through a very small entry of 2.5mm. The foldable intraocular
lens (IOL) is also put through the same entry. This heals up
quickly and the patient can resume normal lifestyle very soon.
Different brands of IOLs are available in the market which are
commonly made of a soft polymers i.e. silicone , acrylic, (
Bausch & Lomb, Allergan, Pharmacia, Alcon etc.) Multifocal
IOL,s are also available in the market which eliminate the need
of reading glasses after cataract surgery but proper patient
selection is a must as adjustment with multifocal IOLs is bit
difficult as compared to unifocal IOL,s .
suitable for Multifocal IOL
corrected visual acuity 6/12 or better
Younger may be better
Astigmatism 1.5D or less
Patients not suitable for Multifocal IOL,s;
with best corrected visual acuity worse than 6/24
Patients with high astigmatism
complaining of glare at night.
Patients with pupil smaller than 2.5 mm.
Patients with abnormally long or short eyes.
When should the cataract be operated ?
In the past, Eye Surgeons often waited until the cataract
become mature because of various reasons. If visual impairment
interferes with your daily routine work, one should consider
for early cataract surgery. Do not wait for the cataract to
mature because it can cause lens-induced glaucoma, which is
sight threatening emergency, and technically becomes difficult.
Phaco-emulsification is a Simple Surgical Technique with no
Pain, no Injection, no Stitch, no Bandage.
The procedure requires 15- 25mts. Patients can go home even
immediately after the surgery. After Phaco-emulsification surgery
vision generally recovers early than the other surgical procedures.
What Precautions are required after Operation?
not rub the operated eye.
Do not lift heavy weights, Exercises and Swimming.
Use protective dark glasses to prevent eyes from dust.
Water should not enter the eye for 1 to 2 weeks.
Avoid driving until your surgeon tells you it is safe.
New powered glasses are generally prescribed 2-3 weeks after
How long you are off work will depend on your job. Ask your
eye specialist about this.
With the advent of Phaco Surgery all the above precautions can
be relaxed to a greater extent as the wound is Self Sealing
and heals up very quickly.