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CATARACT

OVERVIEW

A cataract is a condition where the lens of the eye loses its clarity, becomes clouded and affects vision. Clouding causes the lens to become yellowish-brown in color.

Lens is a transparent structure that lies behind the iris and the pupil and works like the lens of a camera. It helps focus light on the retina (light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) to form an image. In normal condition since the lens is clear, you see a sharp image of the objects around you. In cataract, since the lens is not clear, the images you see are blurred. Most cataracts occur in older people and are age related. Cataract can affect one or both eye but it cannot spread from one eye to another.

Types of Cataract

Apart from age related cataracts, which begin forming when you are in your 40s or 50s and mature by the time you are in your 60s, other types of cataracts are:

  1. Congenital Cataract : These are seen in new-born or in early childhood, usually in both the eyes. They are often very small in size and do not affect vision. If they start affecting vision, they need to be removed.
  2. Secondary Cataract : These can form secondary to eye surgeries such as surgery for glaucoma. Cataracts can also form due to other health problems such as diabetes or if you have been using steroids for some time.
  3. Traumatic Cataract : Some people develop a cataract after an eye injury, sometimes after several years of injury.
  4. Radiation Cataract : This cataract develops in people exposed to some types of radiation.

Causes

The lens is made of water and protein, with the proteins arranged in such a way that the lens remains clear and allows light to pass through it. As you age, the proteins lose their precise arrangement, clump together and form a small cloudy area on the lens. This reduces the amount of light passing through the lens and affects the sharpness of the image formed. With time the cloudy area enlarges and affects the vision. However the growth of an age-related cataract is slow and may take years and the vision slowly turns dull. Finer detailing as in reading is the last to go. The vision becomes tainted with brown color and you may lose your sense of colors.

Smoking and diabetes can also affect the quality of lens and so also repeated use of steroid eye drops.

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can also cause cataracts (in people who work outdoors and are exposed to direct sunlight.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Colors look faded
  • The lamps, headlights etc appear too bright or glare
  • Halo appears around lights
  • Frequently changing eyeglasses or contact lenses as ‘power’ changes
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision or diplopia
  • Multiple images (in large cataracts)

Diagnosis

To diagnose whether you have cataract or not, your doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye examination which includes:

  • Visual acuity test : Your doctor will ask you to read a chart at different distances to assess how clearly you can see the alphabets.
  • Dilated eye exam or Ophthalmoscopy : Your doctor will put some eye drops into your eyes and ask you to wait for some time with your eyes closed. This will help dilate your pupils. One eye is tested at a time. Your eye specialist will use a special magnifying glass (ophthalmoscope) to look into your eyes to examine the retina and the optic nerve. After the eye examination your near vision may remain blurred for some hours so you will not be able to drive back home.
  • Tonometry : Your doctor will use a special instrument (tonometer) to measure the IOP. Your doctor will put some eye drops to numb the white of your eyes. One eye is tested at a time. The instrument will then be placed on the white of the eye to take the eye pressure. Normal IOP varies between 10 and 21 mm Hg, and is generally around 21mmHg for most eyes.

Why to choose Ishwar Eye Centre for your or your relatives cataract surgery?

  • One of the best machine of Cataract Surgery - Johnson & Johnson White Star Signature Pro (USA).
  • Image guided Cataract Surgery
  • Skilled and Experienced Surgeons.
  • More than 95% Success rate of Surgeries.
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