Cataract is one of the most common eye problems that is responsible for vision loss and affects people above the age of forty. Cataract is also one of the principle causes of blindness across the globe. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes and is characterized by clouding of the transparent eye lens. As you age, the proteins in the lens form abnormal clumps that enlarge and impede the sharpness of the image entering the retina, resulting in blurry or fuzzy vision. You may not even realize that you have cataract because it gradually develops and may not hinder your vision during the early stages. Though cataracts are rarely dangerous, after several years they can lead to progressive blurring, fogging or visual impairment.
Treatment for Cataract
If your vision is only slightly blurry it can be improved by changing your eyeglass prescription, using brighter lighting, antiglare sunglasses, magnifying lenses or by other visual aids. If there is no improvement in the vision then cataract surgery is the only option. Cataract surgery involves the removal of your natural cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear, functional artificial lens implant. It is a simple painless procedure to restore vision. The three main types of cataract surgery are as follows:
- Extracapsular cataract surgery: This surgical technique is used when the cataract is too thick to dissolve into fragments. This calls for a larger incision to remove the entire cataract without being fragmented and then the replacement lens is inserted. This surgery may require several sutures to close the wound and has a longer recovery period.
- Phacoemulsification: This is a safe and straightforward method of removal of cataract, performed without sutures through a micro incision in the eye. Phacoemulsification utilizes an ultrasonic device to soften and breakup the cloudy lens and then removes it to improve your vision. This procedure involves a small incision in the cornea that allows the entry of an ultrasound probe which breaks up the cloudy lens into tiny fragments and removes it by suction.
- Intracapsular cataract surgery: This is a surgical procedure where the entire natural lens, including the capsule that holds it is removed and the artificial lens is replaced. If your cataracts have progressed to seriously impair your vision and affect your day-to-day activities, then it is best to opt for immediate cataract surgery. Remember, delaying cataract surgery causes long-term damage to the eye and also make surgery more complicated.