Cataract is the cloudiness of the normally clear lens in the eye. It prevents the lens from focusing light onto the retina and hence causes blurring of vision and leads to vision impairment. As the cataract advances, this haziness of vision increases over a period of time.
The symptoms of cataract are variable, as it can develop in different ways,. Most people notice a gradual deterioration in their vision. Objects may begin to look yellow, hazy, blurred or distorted. Greater light may be required to see clearly or glare/or haloes from light may be experienced at night. A common problem encountered is increasing nearsightedness or frequent change in their glass power.
Surgery - It is one of the oldest, safest and most successful forms of surgery. It requires a very short hospital stay and is generally performed under local or topical anesthesia. The patient is awake during surgery but does not feel any discomfort or pain. Patients are ambulatory immediately after surgery and are normally discharged a within few hours. However, if required the patients can be admitted for a day.
The eye operation is performed with the help of a sophisticated operating microscope. A small incision of 2-2.8 mm is made. A circular opening is fashioned in the front portion of the lens capsule. The cloudy lens material within the lens capsule is then removed through the same incision by the procedure of phacoemulsification using a thin titanium probe, which emits high-speed ultrasound waves. This liquefies the cataract, which is then sucked out of the eye through the same probe.
Finally, a foldable intraocular lens (IOL) is introduced through the small incision, and placed within the capsule of the lens where it unfolds and stays in place securely.
Small & micro incisions such as those used in phacoemulsification seal themselves immediately after surgery and heal very quickly. Compared to non-phaco cataract surgery, the post-operative rehabilitation for stitch-less phacoemulsification is faster and one can return to normal work and activities within a few days. This is currently the most effective method for removing cataracts.