Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eye Problems Made Simple

Cataract : Simple Info

Lets look at the eye anatomy first, what part is affected by cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. The most common type is age related. There are other cause are like diabetes,trauma and many more.

The photo above is an example of a Mature Cataract that needs cataract surgery. Now the question is, when your doctor tells you that you need to be operated ,what will your doctor do? What is actually being done?

Let me put it simply :

The cataract is actually the lens of the eye. In structure it can be compared to a hamburger.

The meat patty being the middle layer ( nucleus) of the lens. The top half of the bun is the anterior capsule that is removed during surgery and the lower half of the bun is the posterior capsule which must remain intact to hold the new clear lens implant( Intraocular Lens ).

In the past, cataract removal had been done manually, but now it can be done with the aid of phacoemulsification machine.

Depending on your surgeon, anesthesia could be local/topical ( meaning you are awake and can hear everything but not feel any pain) or IV sedation ( an anesthesiologist will put you to sleep). The microsurgery is done in 15 to 30 minutes. Either way,the procedure is generally on out patient basis.

The cloudy lens is replaced with an IOL ( intraocular lens). Your doctor will discuss what kind of IOL you want /need .The present high technology and scientific innovations has paved the way to a simple 15 minutes to 30 minutes out patient procedure.

You will be then given antibiotic eyed rops and anti inflammatory eyedrops to help in the healing process. Surgery done manually takes longer to heal ( approximately 2 months maximum). You are advised not to strain during this healing period. While the ones done by phaco has smaller incision so they heal faster and can be back to normal their activities in approximately 3 weeks to 1 month.

Nowadays, there is really no reason why a patient would go blind because of cataract. For the less fortunate ones, we also screen patients who can be done as charity cases. Plus we have government hospitals who offer free cataract surgeries with very minimal hospital expenses.

I hope I live to see the time when we no longer see blind people due to neglected cataract that has become complicated that we cannot do anything about it.

Take care of your eyes!

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