As you grow older, you might have experienced a clouded or unclear vision, making you rub your eyes to get a clearer picture. What starts off as a slight vision impairment which could be rectified with an eyeglass or brighter light might, in fact, be the starting of a more serious condition called cataract. Cataract is the clouding of your eye’s natural lens and can lead to blindness if not treated at the right time.
Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to treat your cataract. So, what causes cataract? What are the symptoms and when should you consult a doctor? Let’s find some answers here-
Cataract – The Causes
Cataracts develop mostly with aging or in some cases an injury to the tissues of your eye lens. Inherited genetic disorders can also increase your chances of developing a cataract. They also occur as a direct result of other eye conditions, past eye surgeries or medical conditions like diabetes. In some people, longtime use of steroids has also shown the development of cataract.
The formation of Cataract
Cataract, as mentioned before forms in the eye’s natural lens. As you age, the lenses lose their flexibility and become thicker and mildly opaque. Age or other conditions mentioned can cause the lens to get damaged and causes clouding small areas of the lens.
As the condition progresses, the clouding becomes denser and blocks the light that passes through it and thereby blurring the vision. Cataract can occur in both eyes but to varying degrees causing a mismatch in your vision.
There are basically 3 types of cataract. A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens in people with diabetes or those who take higher doses of steroids.
A nuclear cataract forms in the central zone of the lens, which is the common form of the condition that occurs with age.
A cortical cataract is characterized by wedge-like clouding in the periphery of the lens and moves towards the center.
In rare cases, congenital cataract is seen in newborn babies or in early childhood. This cataract can be associated with genetics, intrauterine infections or trauma.
Known Risk Factors
Chances of having cataract are higher as you age. You will be more prone to the condition if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. Excessive exposure to sunlight is also known to cause cataract. Any past eye injuries, infections or surgery can pave way for cataract. Excessive drinking and smoking are also said to cause the condition.
The surgery is a fairly simple procedure. The ophthalmologist surgeon makes a tiny incision in front of your eye (cornea) and inserts a needle-thin probe into the lens where the cataract has formed. Using ultrasound waves, fragments of the cataract are broken and suctioned out. An artificial lens will be attached to the back of your lens to the lens capsule
There is a second technique in which the surgeon uses advanced laser technology to remove the cloudy lens. Here also, an incision is made in front of the eye and using the laser, removes the lens in one piece. Just like in the first technique, the back capsule of the lens is left in place for placing an artificial lens in the place.
Post Surgery Care
After your cataract surgery, your vision will start to improve within a few days. As the eye heals and adjusts, the blurriness will be completely gone. Mild itching and discomfort are quite common, although you must avoid rubbing or pushing on your eyes. Use prescribed eyedrops to prevent infections. However, if you have any serious discomforts, consult your ophthalmologist in Dubai at the earliest.