Skip to main content

This is an eye disease in which the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque causing a decrease in vision. For perfect vision to occur, the lens of the eye should be clear so that light can pass through it and reach the retina. When the lens becomes cloudy or opaque, light cannot pass through it and the vision becomes dim or blurred.

Cataracts commonly affects both eyes, but sometimes cataract in one eye advances more rapidly than the one in the other eye.
It can occur gradually due to aging but it can also occasionally develop rapidly.

What Causes Cataracts

Cataracts mostly develops naturally with age. In fact, by age 65 many of us will develop a cataract. Other causes of cataracts include

  • Heredity
  • Birth defects
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • Excessive use of steroid medications
  • Eye injuries
Symptoms of Cataracts
  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Frequent prescription changes for glasses and contact lenses
  • Poor night vision
  • Color vision change
  • Double vision in a single eye

This is an eye disease in which the

normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy

or opaque causing a decrease in vision.

Treatment for Cataracts

In the early stage, your vision can be improved by changing your glasses. But once the cataract progresses, changing glasses will not help. There are no medications, eye drops or dietary restrictions that can cure or prevent cataract formation. If the cataract interferes with your regular activities, the only solution is surgery.

In cataracts surgery your natural clouded lens is replaced by a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL) which helps incoming light rays to be focused properly. Your new lens should restore vision to nearly what it was earlier, though you may need to wear glasses for driving or reading.

Surgical Techniques

Several techniques are used for removing cataracts;

  • Phacoemulsification:
    In this method, a tiny instrument is inserted through a very small incision. The instrument uses ultrasound vibrations to break the cataracts into fine pieces, which are gently suctioned out. The new lens is then inserted into the eye. Usually no stiches are required to close the incision. This minimal surgery allows for faster healing hastening your return to normal activity.
  • Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS):
    This is a new technique where the cataracts are removed manually through a small incision. The small incision heals fast enabling you to recover quickly.

Your doctor will select the method of surgery that is most suitable for your case. It is no longer necessary for the cataract to mature fully or for the vision to totally become cloudy before scheduling surgery. You and your ophthalmologist should jointly decide on the time for surgery.

Secondary Cataracts

Blurred vision months or years after cataract surgery leads to the mistaken assumption that the cataracts have grown again. This is not a cataract, but the clouding of the thin capsular bag membrane that helps keep the lens implant in place.

To restore clear vision surgeons, use a laser to open a visual path through the cloudy membrane. This is a simple procedure and it sis done on an outpatient basis. No stitches or surgery are needed. Your vision should improve soon after the laser treatment.