A cataract is a cloudy area in the part of your eye called the lens. The lens is located just behind the iris – the colored part of the eye. It helps focus light entering the eye to give a clear image on the retina- the light sensitive layer that lines inside the back of the eye. The lens is transparent but if it becomes clouded the passage of light is obstructed and vision is impaired.
A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.
A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.
A cortical cataract is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.
Most cataracts develop as people get older, usually after the age of 65 years. It can start at a younger age sometimes for no special reason and sometimes if you have diabetes or long standing inflammation in the eye, are taking certain tablets or if you have had an injury to the eye. Very occasionally some forms of cataract may be present from birth.
Usually a gradual reduction in your vision which becomes blurred and misty .Sometimes being dazzled when looking at bright sunlight or car headlights at night. Cataract does not cause pain or redness of the eye.
As we get older, our vision gets worse, especially in low – light or dim environments. Cataracts make this problem worse by causing make this problem worse by causing the eye’s natural crystalline lens to become cloudy or yellow. This prevents light rays from properly focusing inside the eye. If you have cataracts, your symptoms may include hazy or blurred vision, faded colors, sensitivity to light, or the need for stronger glasses. if left untreated, cataracts will cause your vision to worsen over time
No cataract NEVER causes complete blindness, but if it is very dense you may only be able to see light or dark..
Most patients are able to have their surgery as a day case and do not need to stay in hospital overnight. A few patients either because of their medical situation or because of their home circumstances are better advised to stay overnight. This will be discussed with you by the nurses and doctors looking after you.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed procedure today. It is a safe and proven treatment for cataracts. During the cataract procedure, your surgeon will first remove your clouded, aging natural crystalline lens. Then, an intraocular lens, also called an IOL, will be placed in your eye.
The operation for cataract surgery can be done under a local anesthetic, when the eye is made numb with some eye drops and usually one or more injections around the eye. With this type of anesthetic you will be awake. You may be aware of a bright light, but you will not be able to see what is happening. Sometimes the operation is done under a general anesthetic, when you are put to sleep.
It is usually necessary for you to come to the hospital for a separate visit before the operation to have what is normally called Pre-Operative Assessment. This usually involves some measurements being done on the eye to help us decide on the correct power of lens implant to be put in your eye at the time of the operation. Normally also a Nurse will talk to you about the operation and ask you questions.