What is cataract? Cause
The condition’s name is of Ancient Greek origin, means “waterfall” and is explained by the belief that the cause of blurred vision is fluid flow inside the eye.
Cataract is the most usual cause of blurred vision and in its classical form it is the result of ageing of the eye lens. In other words, it is not a damage or condition of the eye but a degeneration process happening deterministically over age, such as hair-whitening or skin wrinkling.
Apart from old age, other, more usual causes for cataract are eye injury, certain conditions such as diabetes mellitus or long-term use of drugs such as cortisone.
How does cataract manifest itself? The symptoms
Cataract is a painless condition.
It is not associated with pain in the eye, nor eye redness. The main symptom is gradual, not sudden, blurring of the vision in one or both eyes.
Maturing of the cataract usually happens at the same time in both eyes. However, the cases when maturing of one eye precedes by far that of the other are not few. In case that both eyes suffer, there is the possibility for them to be treated simultaneously.
How is cataract treated? Surgery
Technological advances have led to a real change of scenery in comparison with the past.
Large eye sections have been done away with and now surgery is performed through a small incision that does not exceed 3 mm, with the aid of an ultrasound device, a technique called phacoemulsification, known to the public as Laser surgery. Anesthesia is local and in certain cases only anesthetic drops are used. The surgical incision is performed with special knives and in certain cases with diamond knives, so that there is no need for sutures at the end of the procedure.
After surgery the patient does not have to stay in the clinic; he/she can return home on the same day and to work or other activities on the day after.
Restoration of vision is immediate thanks to the use of preselected special intraocular lenses which are placed inside the eye to replace the old, blurred intraocular lens.
When is surgery performed? The decision
There are no eye drops or drugs for cataract treatment. The only way is surgery.
The decision for surgery is made by the patient after examination and in agreement with his doctor. The long-standing opinion that cataract should first mature and then be surgically removed is not only incorrect but in some cases dangerous.
Treatment of an overly mature and consequently hard cataract with the device is more difficult, tires the surgeon and is also hard on the eye. As a result, the recovery period is lengthened and the possibility of complications rises.
This is why we prefer to perform surgery on the cataract at earlier stages.