WHAT IS CATARACT?
A cataract is a condition in which the vision gets blurry because of the cloudiness in the eyes. It is mostly found in older humans and can affect one or both of your eyes. The cloudiness in the eyes leads to a barrier in the passing of light through the eye and reaching the retina.
How are cataracts diagnosed and treated?
A comprehensive eye examination by om eye care optometrist can determine if you have a cataract. In the early stages of a cataract, where vision is only minimally affected, your optometrist can prescribe new lenses for your glasses to give you the sharpest vision possible. When the cataracts start to interfere with your daily activities and glasses cannot improve this vision, your optometrist will refer you to an eye surgeon who may recommend the surgical removal of the cataracts.
What happens after cataract surgery?
During surgery old cloudy lens is removed and an intraocular lens implant is inserted in your eye, this serves as a ‘new lens’. Sometimes the lens implant can give you good enough distance vision that you may not require glasses. Your near vision will still be blurred, so you may need glasses to read. om eye care optometrist will prescribe new lenses for your glasses about four weeks after surgery to maximize your distance and near vision.
Symptoms of Cataract
There are various symptoms which promote cataract
- A) Blurry or Cloudy Vision
- B) Poor Night Vision
- C) Light Sensitive vision where a light may seem too bright and may appear to look halo around the light
- D) Double or Multiple vision (This symptom may go away as the cataract increases
- E) One may need frequent changes of glasses or contact lenses
- F) Second Sight – Because of Cataract getting accumulated in the eyes, near vision becomes clearer without the help of the glass. This phenomenon is temporary and may with the accumulation of cataract, the eye sight may deteriorate Causes of Cataract
- A) Ageing: One of the most common causes of cataract is ageing.
- B) Diabetes: High blood sugar level can lead to many eye problems
- C) Blood Pressure/Hypertension: In some cases, high blood pressure can impact the eyes and may cause cataracts
- D) Use of Steroids
- E) Trauma to the eye: Penetrating ocular injury may induce a cataract by puncturing the lens capsule
- F) Inheritance: Some inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems can increase your risk of cataracts.
The purpose of your lens is to refract the light rays that come into the eye to help you see. For this, the eye lens should be clear, but when a person has a cataract, it becomes difficult to see clearly due to the formation of the cataract i.e the cloudy substance. Having a cataract can be like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things may look blurry, hazy or less colourful.
The only way to remove a cataract is with surgery. Om eye care will recommend removing a cataract only when it keeps you from doing things you want or needs to do.
During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens called an Intraocular Lens(IOL) in which The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the side of the cornea, removes the eye’s clouded natural lens after dissolving it by using a procedure known as Phacoemulsification and then replaces it with an artificial ‘Intraocular Lens’ (IOL). As the incision is small, stitches are not required and the patient can get back home to his/her routine lifestyle within a week.
There are different types of intraocular lenses available today, so how do you decide which lens is best for you?
Dr Anand Palimkar explains the different types of intraocular lenses available to patients and how to determine which is best.
1. MONOFOCAL INTRAOCULAR LENS
Monofocal lenses are used to restore vision for one area of focus. These lenses are usually used to restore distance vision. After having a mono-focal lens implanted into your eye, you may still need glasses or bifocals after surgery.
2. MULTIFOCAL INTRAOCULAR LENS
Multifocal lenses provide high-quality vision at multiple distances. This lens can correct your vision for distance, up close, and everything in between. With a multifocal lens, you can achieve enhanced vision at a distinct distance customized to suit your lifestyle.
Multifocal lenses were created to improve upon the limitations of mono-focal lenses and traditional cataract surgery. Previously after cataract surgery, restoring your distance vision would be the primary goal. Patients would still need to wear glasses or bifocals to restore their close-up vision.
For many, Multifocal IOL’s are the right choice if you value having both improved distance and reading vision but do not mind some compromise in your distance vision.
3. TORIC INTRAOCULAR LENS
Toric lenses are premium intraocular lenses that correct astigmatism as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness. They can help restore crisp, clear distance vision for astigmatic cataract patients. Your cataract surgeon will work with you to determine if your type of astigmatism can be helped by a toric IOL.
The benefits of a toric IOL are similar to that of a mono-focal lens: Since they are mono-focal they either allow better distance or reading vision, but not both.
Which is Best?
Your cataract surgeon will help you determine which IOL is best for you. There is no single IOL that is “best” for every person. It all comes down to finding the best set of lenses to address your specific needs. They might even recommend mixing two different multifocal lenses or two different types of intraocular lenses.
Your needs are best determined by your daily activities and which type of vision is of foremost importance to complete those activities. Your eye surgeon will work very closely with you to determine your goals so that you can be as satisfied as possible with your vision post-surgery.
Is your distance vision of utmost important because you like to spend your time travelling, find it necessary for your occupation, or want the best distance possible for a round of golf? Do you not mind having to perhaps wear reading glasses or bifocals after surgery for the tradeoff of having the best distance vision possible? Each lens has its own set of benefits and limitations. These questions and more will help your surgeon work with you to determine the best lens possible for you.
There are also a number of pre-existing conditions that can affect which lens is right for you. Patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration, corneal disease, or other conditions will need a specific type of lens. Your ophthalmologist will discuss any of these conditions, your overall eye health and how it relates to which lens is best for you during your eye exam.
If you’re a candidate for cataract surgery and have questions about which intraocular lens is right for you, contact Om Eye Care to schedule an appointment with trusted expert cataract surgeon Dr. Anand Palimkar. Dr Palimkar has over 16 Years of experience as an ophthalmologist and has performed 20000 eye procedures.