Cataract is a gradual blur of the gelatinous substance that forms the lens of the eye. Cataract block or twist light entering the eye and gradually diminishes vision; however, in some cases, vision loss is not so serious that it would require treatment. Obviously, both eyes are affected and, in most cases, one eye is affected more than the other.
The most common cause of cataracts is the progressive damage of the lens in old age. Other causes include iritis, eye injury (in this case, only the injured eye is affected), diabetes and corticosteroid medications taken by mouth for the treatment of another condition (which is not related to cataracts). This disorder is usually inherited and, in some cases, occurs shortly after the birth.
The main symptom in all cases is weakness or distortion of vision; in some cases the vision is weaker in the bright sun. Except for the most advanced cases, it is difficult to notice the cataract; in advanced cases, the lens may become white, blurred and visible through the pupil. In rare cases, highly advanced cataracts cause painful inflammation and eye pressure.
Cataract is fairly common, and you will probably get in in the old age, when the lenses weaken. Annually, one in 500 suffer from this illness.
Cataract can lead to severe deterioration of the vision, but can be corrected at any time by surgical intervention.
What to do?
Contact the ophthalmologist if you notice any weakening or deterioration and blur of vision. A specialist can diagnose or suspect a cataract if your glasses do not improve vision.
The only cure for a cataract is to remove the lenses; this is the most common eye surgery. Therefore, if your vision is not too much injured, the doctor will only make sure that you get the glasses that will use you the most. For adults, specialists will, in some cases, recommend surgery if the cataract has affected both eyes and if the vision is so much worse that doing everyday tasks becomes difficult, or if one eye is affected and the job requires a good sight on both eyes. Fully developed cataract in the infant or child must be treated as soon as possible to prevent the development of a permanent amblyopia (”lazy eye”).
General or local anesthesia is given during the operation. Usually, the entire lens is removed, but in some cases. only the substance in the lens is removed (with a small needle) and a clear capsule of the lens is left. This second procedure is more suitable for children.
Removal of the lens will cause long-sightedness. This is corrected by glasses, contact lenses, or plastic lenses that are placed in the eye during the operation. If you do not see as well as you expected, the cause is usually some retinal flacon, in the back of the eye, which was not noticeable due to the blur of the lens before surgery. The most common retinal defect is macular degeneration.