Cataract is an eye disease associated with the clouding of the lens, which is usually transparent. The lens is a natural lens located in the eye, behind the iris. It works like a camera lens and allows you to focus the image on the center of the retina (the macula).
The frequency of cataracts increases with age: one in ten people is affected before age 65, one in five from 65 and more than 60% of people aged 85 and over.
- 1 What is Cataract?
- 2 How the Human Eye Work?
- 3 Eye function revolves around four essential components:
- 4 Types of cataract
- 5 Cost of Cataract Surgery
- 6 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CATARACT?
- 7 What are the Causes of Cataract?
- 8 Diagnose and Treat Cataract
- 9 HOW DOES THE CATARACT OPERATION WORK?
- 10 Cataract Surgery Complications
- 11 Understanding Cataracts Eye Surgery
- 12 Recovery of Cataract Eye Surgery
- 13 Medicines for Cataract Eye Surgery
- 14 Prevention Of Cataract
- 15 Conclusion
What is Cataract?
A cataract is an eye condition defined by partial or total clouding of the lens, responsible for a reduction in visual performance. The lens is a natural biconvex converging lens, located just behind the iris. Its diameter is about 1cm, and its thickness does not generally exceed 0.4cm. It consists of a capsule surrounding the cortex and a nucleus.
How the Human Eye Work?
Eye function components:
- The cornea: the first objective lens of the eye;
- The iris: acts like a diaphragm thanks to the pupil;
- The lens: the second lens, allows focusing on seeing clearly;
- The vitreous cavity: a dark room of the eye;
- The retina: photo film that transforms light.
- The optic tract transmits electrical signals from the retina to the brain, which interprets them.
Eye function revolves around four essential components:
Cornea and lens:
These are placed in front of the eye & focus the light entering the eye, creating an image on the retina.
It is situated behind the eye. It is a layer of fabric that captures light and color and converts them into electrical signals.
The optic nerve:
The second most crucial cranial nerve is the optic nerve. It is essential because it establishes the link between the eye and the brain. It plays a vital role in the optical pathways by transporting the nerve impulses transformed by the retina to the brain. The latter analyzes the information and translates it into a vision.
The lens converges the light rays on the retina and allows you to see objects. In the presence of objects located at different distances, the lens can adapt its shape to make them clear, depending on their length. If the objects are far away, the lens takes a thinner shape, while for near vision, it bulges.
When you suffer from cataracts, the lens becomes cloudy and prevents light from converging correctly on the retina. Proteins accumulate in the lens and can, over time, form cloudy spots.
Types of cataract
Depending on the opacified anatomical zone of the lens (nucleus, cortex, regions located near the capsules), there are several types of cataracts.
It is characterized by the clouding of the lens nucleus. It can induce myopia index, which is a link to the increase in the refractive index of the nucleus of the clouded lens (see: optical aberrations of myopia index, early cataracts). The evolution of the nuclear cataract causes an increasing motivation, and sometimes the perception of ghost images split by triplets (trippy). Found in the elderly or myopic people in particular.
The cortico nuclear caratact is a frequent form of senile cataract. The nucleus and cortex are the seats of most opacities.
Anterior Subcapsular Cataract
It is defined by the presence of opacities close to or immediately below the anterior lens capsule. It is found more particularly in diabetic patients, after eye trauma, in certain forms of severe allergies, etc. It causes visual discomfort marked by the presence of frequent glare.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataract
The posterior subcapsular cataract is caused by certain “physical” attacks such as ultraviolet (repeated sun exposure without eye protection), or metabolic (chronic smoking, nutritional deficiencies, repeated corticosteroid use, etc.). It causes visual discomfort like veils, dazzling, which are more marked in case of bright light (the symptoms are reduce in the half-light).
A congenital cataract is a total or partial clouding of the lens present from birth. Moderate forms are often well tolerated. They are usually formed of a globular opacity located in contact with the posterior capsule, where one or more of the embryonic structures of the lens is concerned.
Cost of Cataract Surgery
The cost of treatment may differ substantially based on a variety of factors, including:
- Whether the surgery is conduct in an out-patient surgery center or hospital
- The part of the country where the treatment is performing
- The skill, reputation, and experience of the surgeon
- The type of IOL you select
- Whether or not a laser use
- Pre- and post-operative visits
- Post-operative medications
- Pre and post-operative testing
On this occasion, your surgeon can suggest the placement of a multifocal implant, allowing you to regain good near and/or far vision. These devices are more expensive, and the additional cost remains at your expense or that of your mutual.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CATARACT?
The cataract progresses gradually over the years and is sometimes not noticed until the vision begins to deteriorate. Even if the cataract is not painful, it affects your eyes in different ways. Sometimes one eye is more affected than the other. Generally, however, they are both.
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Duller color perception
- Halo effect around lights
- Reading difficulties in the evening
- Frequent adaptation of spectacle lenses / contact lenses
What are the Causes of Cataract?
Aging is the primary cause of cataracts. Over the years, the proteins in the lens begin to change, making it cloudy when it needs to be completely transparent to allow light to pass through. Even if cataracts are inevitably part of the aging process, several elements can increase the risk of developing this disease:
- Inheritance: You will be more likely to develop cataracts if you have a family history.
- Corticosteroids: Taking large amounts of corticosteroids for a long time increases the risk of cataracts.
- Eye damage or illness: Trauma to the eye can cause the lens to swell and leave a foggy color. It can be a complication of eye surgery. Eye diseases like uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, can also increase the risk.
- Lifestyle: It can also influence the development of cataracts, such as excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and exposure to sunlight. It is also very likely that smoking increases the risk of cataracts.
Diagnose and Treat Cataract
HOW TO DIAGNOSE CATARACT?
The evolution is generally slow so that some people are not aware of this alteration. The color palette changes imperceptibly. Tables by Claude Monet before and after a cataract operation show the changes in perception: before, the yellow tone is prominent; afterward, the bright bruises are again sensitive.
The Tests Used to Diagnose Cataract
The tests used to diagnose cataracts are relatively standard and performed during a routine check-up. This means that if you have an eye exam regularly, your eye doctor will be able to detect the presence of cataracts. These tests include:
- Visual acuity – You are asked to read lines of random letters; each line was containing smaller and smaller characters. The more you can read lines with small print, the better your eyesight will be. This test helps to determine the severity of cataracts or other illnesses.
- Slit-lamp – the ophthalmologist uses a powerful light source, called a slit lamp, to illuminate your eye so you can observe any damage or change. A special microscope used to examine each section at the front of the eye, allowing the doctor to see even the smallest detail.
- Fundus examination – Fundus examination is also called ophthalmoscopy. It allows the doctor to observe the structure of the back of the eye and monitor the health of the retina and other crucial elements. Pupil dilation may be necessary. Done using eye drops, which can cloud your vision for a few hours.
When cataracts have minimal impact on your vision, a doctor may prescribe an alternative treatment before recommending an operation. You should discuss alternatives, as well as a level of impact deterioration of your eyesight on your quality of life in terms of mental and physical health.
HOW TO TREAT CATARACT?
There are different ways to treat them:
The only effective treatment is surgery. The operation allows the lens to be removed and replaced with an artificial lens. In the case of daily help for beginner cataracts and before the operation, it is possible to use lenses or glasses with anti-reflective glasses to avoid glare. Finally, two prevention tips: watch out for tobacco which worsens cataracts, as well as in the sun.
In children with cataracts, eyesight is usually not severely affected. They will also have to undergo a combined operation with the wearing of glasses or contact lenses to improve their eyesight.
HOW DOES THE CATARACT OPERATION WORK?
“It is a non-traumatic surgery, without bleeding,” says Professor Hache. The operation performed under local or topical anesthesia that is to say with anesthetic drops in the eye. But for the patients she scares, it can be done under general anesthesia. “The intervention lasts about twenty minutes. Through a small opening of 2 millimeters is introduced an instrument that breaks the lens. Debris evacuated by suction. “Thanks to a tube, we slide a lens made of a fold-able material, which we put in place of the lens,” continues Professor Hache. The operation finished. In most cases, there is no suture because the incision is small and self-sealing. Usually, a bandage put on, and the patient comes out on both feet. ”
Cataract Surgery Complications
Although it is entirely standardized and followed by excellent results, the cataract operation is not exempt from the general rule according to which there is no surgery without risk. It is therefore not possible for your ophthalmologist to formally guarantee the success of the intervention.
Severe complications from cataract surgery are rare. They may require reoperation and lead, in the most extreme cases, to the loss of all vision of the operated eye, or even to the loss of the eyes itself.
- Infections (1 to 3 cases in 1000)
- Trauma to the eye by the patient or his entourage
- Retinal detachment (1 case in 100)
- Corneal disorder
- Incomplete cataract extraction
- Displacement of the artificial lens
- Central retinal edema
- Retinal burn by the lighting of the operating microscope.
Other complications are less severe, such as:
- The scar that is not sufficiently tight
- A partial fall of the upper eyelid
- A hematoma of the whites of the eye or the eyelid
- The perception of flying flies
- increased sensitivity to light
- Inflammation of the eye
- Increase in intraocular pressure
- Corneal deformation (astigmatism)
- split vision.
The error in calculating the power of the artificial lens is rare, given the precision of the ultrasound systematically performed before the intervention. It may require re-operation.
Understanding Cataracts Eye Surgery
Cataract surgery gives the possibility of correcting the power error of the eyes. In other words, the chosen power of the intraocular lens attempts to correct far vision.
Before Cataract Surgery
Before the surgery, the doctor will explain in detail things like your general well-being, the health of your eyes (assess the presence of other eye diseases that can cause complications) and the severity of your cataract. Your eyes will also be measured to determine the curvature of the cornea and the size and shape of your eyes so that the strength of the artificial lens can be determined.
If you need an operation with both eyes, they will do separately, a few months apart, so that the first eye has time to heal.
During Cataract Surgery
The operation lasts less than an hour and generally performed under local anesthesia, in which case only the eyes are anesthetized. You stay awake during the process. In the case of children, the operation generally is done under total anesthesia.
After Cataract Surgery
In most cases, the eye is painless after the process. However, you should not be alone the first night after the operation, in case of problems. The vision improves quickly, after a few weeks; a corrective correction by glasses can prescribe. Local treatments also prescribed:
- Installation of drops
- The application of an ointment
- The wearing of eye protection
Your surgeon will specify the methods and duration of this care. Sometimes it is important to remove the sutures. Specific activities will be discouraged for some time after the intervention: driving, professional activity, use of machines or dangerous products. Your ophthalmologist will tell you when the resumption of these activities is possible.
Read full Guide here: Cataract Eye Surgery Full Procedure
Recovery of Cataract Eye Surgery
You can lead a healthy, sedentary life, but without significant physical effort, without sporting activity and gardening for a month.
The incision required for the intervention is tiny. It measures precisely 1.8 mm, is spontaneously waterproof and will be insensitive within 24 hours.
However, if you touch your eye or the upper eyelid, it can be sensitive or even painful: you should, therefore, avoid rubbing your eye or closing the eyelids forcefully.
Medicines for Cataract Eye Surgery
After the cataract operation, care consists of the installation of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops three times a day for one or two months. The drops should be instilled every few seconds in any order. Each bottle must renew every two weeks.
Prevention Of Cataract
It is challenging to avoid cataracts. The lens collects light and condenses it on the retina, but under the effect of UV, it oxidizes and becomes more and more opaque. Many factors can cause a cataract; this is why we must be careful of the many attacks that can undergo the eye:
- Quit smoking. Smokers can reduce the risk of senile cataracts by a cut of smoking.
- antioxidant-rich eye drops may also be useful in preventing disease,
- Protect your eyes from the sun. wear sunglasses when the light is too bright,
- Eat enough fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants, and they prevent the development of cataracts,
- Control your sugar in case of diabetes.
- Protect your eyes at work and play.
- Treat infection during pregnancy.
- Do not take cortisone.
And every six months, you must have a visual acuity test, if it is less than 5/10, then it may be a cataract. This vision loss can be very annoying, especially when driving.
Through our various researches, we have been able to observe that the eye is a very complex organ formed by different membranes and lenses allowing the refraction of light on the retina, susceptible area of the eye.
We can, therefore, conclude that age-related eye diseases do not necessarily lead to blindness.
The disease is all the more likely to cure if it is taken care of early. It is essential to insist on prevention to avoid that the elderly, more and more numerous, do not have to undergo the handicapping consequences of these diseases.