Macular DegenerationAge Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)Read more...
Cosmetic Eye SurgeryWhat is Cosmetic Eye Surgery?Read more...
CataractWhat is Cataract?Read more...
Corneal TransplantWhat is Corneal Transplant?Read more...
Dry Eye SyndromeWhat is Dry Eye Syndrome?Read more...
Diabetic RetinopathyWhat is Diabetic Retinopathy?Read more...
Eye CancerWhat is Eye Cancer?Read more...
GlaucomaWhat is Glaucoma?Read more...
Retinal DetachmentWhat is Retinal Detachment?Read more...
Refractive SurgeryWhat is Refractive Surgery?Read more...
UveitisWhat is Uveitis?Read more...
VitrectomyWhat is Vitrectomy?Read more...
What is a Cataract?
The eye functions much like a camera. Light rays enter the eye, passing through the cornea, the aqueous humor - transparent fluid in the front of the eye - and then the pupil and into the lens. The lens bends the light rays to focus objects onto the retina lining the back of the eye. From there, the image passes through the retinal cells, into the optic nerve, and finally to the back of the brain which process the images.
Cataracts occur when there is a buildup of protein in the lens that makes it cloudy. This prevents light from passing clearly through the lens, causing some loss of vision. Since new lens cells form on the outside of the lens, all the older cells are compacted into the center of the lens resulting in the cataract.
Types of cataracts include -
Age-related cataracts - as the name suggests, this type of cataract develops as a result of aging.
Congenital cataracts - babies are sometimes born with cataracts as a result of an infection, injury, or poor development before they were born, or they may develop during childhood.
Secondary cataracts - these develop as a result of other medical conditions, like diabetes, or exposure to toxic substances, certain drugs (such as corticosteroids or diuretics), ultraviolet light, or radiation.
Traumatic cataracts - these form after injury to the eye.
Other factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts include cigarette smoke, air pollution, and heavy alcohol consumption.
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Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts often affect both eyes, but rarely equally. People with cataracts may have the following symptoms -
Causes of Cataracts
Following are cataracts causes that increase a person’s chance of developing them -
When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision for a while using new glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids.
Think about surgery when your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision.
There are two types of cataract surgery. Your doctor can explain the differences and help determine which is better for you.
Phacoemulsification, or phaco - a small incision is made on the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your doctor inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. Most cataract surgery today is done by phacoemulsification, also called "small incision cataract surgery."
Extracapsular surgery - your doctor makes a longer incision on the side of the cornea and removes the cloudy core of the lens in one piece. The rest of the lens is removed by suction.
After the natural lens has been removed, it often is replaced by an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL is a clear, plastic lens that requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. Light is focused clearly by the IOL onto the retina, improving your vision. You will not feel or see the new lens.
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