A Guide to Cataract Surgery
In simple words, when your eye’s natural lens becomes progressively cloudy due to age or other conditions, it is called a cataract. When this happens, cataract surgery is recommended wherein the cloudy lens inside the eye is replaced with an artificial lens.
Getting a cataract is a part of ageing. Over time, cataracts can cause sensitivity to light and lead to more blurry vision. Apart from age, other risk factors that can cause cataracts are:
- Eye injury or eye infection
- Certain medication and long-term steroid use
- Extreme (continuous) exposure to UV light
- Extreme (continuous) exposure to radiation
- Family history of cataract
- Smoking and various chronic diseases (diabetes)
A] Types of Cataract
- Age-related: As mentioned above, for the most part, cataract is age-related and usually develops after the age of 40. However, it may also develop at a younger age.
- Traumatic: Injury to the eye can cause a cataract, especially if the lens is damaged. Chemical burn or intense heat can also cause cataracts.
- Congenial: This type of cataract is present at birth. It can be inherited or caused by inflammation or infection during pregnancy.
Based on the location in the lens, cataracts are called:
- Cortical cataract: In this type of cataract, the layer of the lens around the nucleus is affected.
- Nuclear cataract: Found in the center of the lens, a nuclear cataract can darken with age, moving from being clear to yellow and sometimes brown.
- Posterior capsular cataract: Developing more rapidly, this type of cataract is located in the back of the lens.
B] Diagnosis of Cataracts
As you get older, a comprehensive eye exam is highly recommended. If you have a cataract, you may experience reduced visual clarity or blurry/cloudy vision. You may see halos around lights, which may impact your focus while driving. Bright colours may seem dull, or you may require more light to read and perform household chores. Frequently changing the prescription of your eyeglass is another common symptom of cataracts.
Consulting with an eye specialist can help you determine if there is a cataract, the type of cataract and if cataract surgery is required. For cataract diagnosis, the eye specialist will:
- Ask about general medical history and specific eye history
- Test your eye movement and check for glaucoma
- Conduct a microscopic exam: Here, a slit lamp device is used to examine the front of the eye. This test helps access the thickness of the cataract, helping the eye specialist discern how it interferes with light as it passes through the lens.
- Conduct a Visual Acuity test: This is an eye vision test that measures the accuracy of your vision at different distances. It is a simple and quick test.
- Check for Contrast Sensitivity: Since cataracts can reduce image contrast, this test can help the eye specialist discern how difficult/easy it is for you to separate an object from the background.
- Check for pupil dilation: This is the most common test to detect cataracts. The eye specialist will dilate the pupil of your eyes to examine the retina, optic nerve and macula. This will help them determine if the cataract is affecting the quality of your vision.
C] Should I Have Cataract Surgery?
Whether or not to have cataract surgery is an individual choice. For some, a cataract may not cause any large vision change. During the early stages of cataracts, a change in the eyeglass prescription is often enough. However, if a cataract starts to affect your vision or daily life, you must have surgery.
Likewise, the location of the cataract may also influence your choice. A cataract at the center of the lens may greatly affect your vision. But, at the outer edges of the lens, a cataract may hardly affect your sight.
With the advancement in technology, cataract surgery may be performed at any stage. However, since a cataract only worsens with time, to enhance eye health and improve the quality of life, doing cataract surgery at the earliest is recommended.
D] Choosing an Eye Surgeon
Once you decide to have cataract surgery, the next step is to choose a professional eye surgeon. At Paragon Clinic, we have decades of experience in dealing with complex cataract cases and have successfully completed numerous cataract surgeries.
- We use advanced technology to correct astigmatism while removing the cataract.
- We use a state-of-the-art measuring & scanning system to perform cataract surgeries that are extremely precise and individualised.
- Apart from the conventional basic biometry calculations, we use 4 extra eye scan calculations: aberrometry, pupillometry, wavefront analysis and angle kappa measurements. This helps ensure that you get the best-fitting lens implant for your eye.
- We also use the most advanced options for replacement lenses that can help you achieve the best possible vision (often 20/20) after the surgery.
To book an appointment, get in touch with us!