Cataract, What is it? What can be done?

Cataract Cataract

What is it?

When it becomes Cataract is when the clear lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. cloudy you cannot see well, like looking through a very dirty window. It is simply known as Opacification of the crystalline lens.

What causes cataract?

There are many causes but here are the main ones.
1. Aging: 
From about 40 years up there are many changes in the body and the eye.  For example, in some people, the hair may become gray.  In some people, the lens of the eye may become cloudy
and this reduces vision.
2. Trauma:
Injuries to the eye may cause the cataract to form.
3. Congenital or developmental
it is possible to be born with cataract or to develop it as a young child.  This may be due to inheritance from the family or from illness in mother or child. 
4. Ultraviolet radiation: 
More exposure to UV irradiation from sunlight can also lead to cataract.
5. Diabetes
People with diabetes are likely to develop a cataract.
6. Smoking
Cigarettes smoking cause cataract.  
MAture Cataract
Mature Cataract

 How do you know if someone has a cataract?

The vision gradually decreases, as the cataract gets more and more cloudy. Cataract can occur in one eye or in both eyes.  Anyone with decreasing vision should be examined by a doctor or health worker trained to detect the cataract. Sometimes the cloudiness becomes so great that the black part in the center of the eye actually looks white.  In these cases, the vision is very reduced.


The good news is that modern surgery can cure cataract. There is no medical and optical cure for cataract till now. Nowadays, eye surgeons can remove the cataract and replace the cloudy lens with a small artificial lens called Intraocular Lens (IOL). Surgery is done in hospitals with modern techniques. There are two techniques commonly performed in eye hospital, that are ECCE or Small Incision Cataract surgery (SICS) and Phacoemulsification surgery. Before surgery, a patient is given local anesthetic so there is no pain during the operation. 

The operation takes 15-20 minutes. After the operation, a patient must rest for a day with a bandage/Eye Pad in the hospital or go home and came next day morning on follow up. The bandage is removed after one day, the doctor examines the eye, and medicines are instilled. After post-operative examination patient is discharged to go home with medicines.  If he/she has any further problems she may need to stay in the hospital. Before discharge from the hospital, the patient will be taught how to put in medicine at home and must use the medicine for a few weeks. 
 Procedure of catarct surgery
After 2-3 weeks the patient should get another examination, either at the hospital or another site with a trained eye care worker.  If a patient has severe pain or sudden loss of vision in the eye before the examination he should come right away. Many patients do not need glasses after surgery for distance, but some like to use glasses for reading or doing close work.

Follow up

It is important to be assessed after surgery.  This can be done in the hospital or by a trained
eye care professional in the field.
Before and After Cataract Surgery

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