What is Cataract?
Cataract is the most common form of eye problems. In a healthy individual’s eye, the lens is transparent, allowing the rays to directly reach the retina, creating a sharp and clear image. Cataract is the opacification or fogging of the lens, which contributes to blurry vision. This can lead to a reduction in vision as the lens becomes less and less transparent. The sharpness and color of objects cannot be identified clearly, as if looking out through a dirty window. The opacity of the natural lens in the eye gradually increases with time.
The only treatment of cataract is through surgery. Today, with the development of modern techniques, cataract surgery can be performed without needles, narcosis or hospitalization. The natural lens with the cataract is extracted and replaced with an adjusted synthetic intraocular lens (IOL).
- Gradual Decrease of Vision
- Sensitivity to Light and Glares
- Double Vision
- Reading Difficulty
- Subsequent Myopia
- Fading or Yellowing of Colors
If you have decreased vision, glare, or difference in sight quality between the eyes due to cataract, it indicates that it is time for cataract surgery. There is no other medical treatment to reverse or stop the development of cataracts.
Only treatment of cataract is by surgery. The existing lens, which had developed cataract, is removed from the eye and replaced with a synthetic transparent lens. There used to be stitching involved with the surgery yet, today, modern methods have been developed for cataract operations that makes this step obsolete.
The most recent cataract surgery method is named phacoemulsification, in which the lens is taken out of the eye through a minuscule incision within the cornea. The lens is fragmented into very small parts and vacuumed out. After inserting the fold-able lens into the eye from this small incision, the operation is completed seamlessly.
Phacoemulsification is a very reliable and safe method that increases visual acuity in the early period due to the absence of a large incision and a closed system. Local anesthesia is used in cataract surgery.
As your eye is numbed, you will not feel anything during the cataract operation but perhaps a slight pressure on your eye. The cataract operation takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the type of cataract. During this time you should not move your head or eyes. Throughout the surgery, your pulse and blood pressure values are monitored as standard. You can be in touch with your doctor at any time during the operation.
Since your cataract lens is completely removed from the eye, it is not possible for the cataract to occur a second time. During the cataract operation, after the lens is removed, the synthetic lens is placed into a thin membrane. This thin film layer may thicken after the cataract operation. This is not related to the course of the cataract operation or the any complication from the surgery. The whitening of the membrane that keeps the lens in place can occur structurally in each eye. We call it Secondary Cataract. This disorder can be treated with a laser (YAG laser) application in seconds.
- According to the degree of cataract aspirin and similar blood thinners should be discontinued 3 days before cataract surgery.
- Breakfast can be had on the day of the cataract surgery, but not too heavy.
- Drugs used for systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma should still be taken on the day of cataract surgery. Insulin dose, oral antidiabetic therapy, and diet compliance should be continued as usual. It is useful to bring your systemic medications with you on the day of cataract surgery.
- The face should be washed thoroughly on the day of cataract surgery and any make-up, lotion, or perfume should be avoided.
- Before the surgery, you will be given a set of sterile clothes, so you will have to change.
- You can return to your home shortly after the cataract surgery, and your doctor will call you for a check-up within the next 36 hours. It is wise not to drive or go home alone.
- The hands should be washed carefully before applying the eye drops.
- If your doctor has recommended that you use two different eye drops after the surgery, you should wait fifteen minutes after using the first eye drop to apply the second one.
- It is advised to shake the bottle before the eye drop is used.
- When applying an eye drop, you should look upwards and pull the lower part of the eyelid down and drop it into the gap without touching the eye.
- Drops should be used as told within the day, however, it is not necessary to wake up and apply the eye drops during the night.
- If you are not told otherwise, you can use your drops for 15 days in accordance with the time table provided to you.
Yes, it certainly is! While there have been lenses that used to fix the eyesight in long distances, Trifocal lenses have emerged in recent years, providing perfect vision in short, medium and long distances. In other words, depending on the lens selected for cataract surgery, the patient can get rid of the need for any type of eyeglasses for the rest of their life after the surgery.