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Cataract

What Is Cataract

In normal circumstances the lens of the eye is clear allowing light rays to pass through it easily and focus on the retina to give clear vision. But when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy it interferes with the passage of light. Hence the image formed in the retina becomes blurred.

Usually cataract occurs in patients above the age of 40. In some instances it can also occur in children. Other diseases such as glaucoma, eye tumours, iritis, and diabetes and also eye injuries may lead up to the formation of cataract. It can also be caused by continuous use of steroids.

Medicines or glasses wouldn’t be able to cure cataract, the only treatment is surgery where the clouded lens is removed and replaced by an intraocular lens. Glasses can be used post surgery to get clear vision.

FAQ

Cataract surgery is done under local anaesthesia for adults and general anaesthesia for children. During the surgery the surgeon removes the clouded lens either manually or with the help of a phaco machine. Once the natural lens is removed a clear artificial intraocular lens(IOL) is inserted for the restoration of the vision.

It is a small convex shaped lens made up a plastic substance (polymethylmethaacrylate/ acrylic) and is harmless to the eye. It becomes a replacement for the lens which has been removed post cataract surgery. The IOL remains in the eye permanently and it does not move with the change in posture. There are various types of IOL available and with the help of the ophthalmologist and the counsellor one can choose the best suitable IOL.

Phaco or Phacoemulsification is a technique used for cataract surgery. In this surgery the surgeon makes a very small incision (3mm) through which he inserts an ultrasonic probe. This probe breaks the cataract lens into tiny pieces by ultrasonic waves. The tiny pieces of lens are simultaneously suctioned out from the eye. Once the cataract lens is cleared from the eye an IOL is inserted through the incision.

The advantages of Phacoemulsification are:

  • It is a suture less surgery
  • Due to the small incision the healing is faster
  • Number of follow up required are less

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