No. But often, they develop in both eyes at the same time.
A nurse will teach you how to look after your eye before you go home. You will be shown how to clean your eye and put in the eye drops correctly. In some circumstances, family and friends will be taught how to do this so they can help you.
The eye drops help reduce the risk of infection and inflammation after surgery and may be necessary for one to two months.
No. Cataract is not caused by overuse of the eyes and using the eyes when the cataract starts will not make it get worse.
Yes. Most cataracts are age related, but other examples include, congenital (present at birth), drug induced (steroids), and traumatic (injury to the eye).
A Cataract is the clouding or opacity of the lens inside the eye. It causes gradual blurring of vision and often glare.
It is useful to learn a little about how the eye works in order to understand what a cataract is.
Inside the eye, behind the coloured part of the eye (the iris), with a black hole in the middle (the pupil) is a lens. In a normal eye, this lens is clear. It helps focus, light rays on to the back of the eye (the retina), which sends messages to the brain allowing us to see.
When cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy and prevents the light rays from passing on to the retina. The picture that the retina receives becomes dull and fuzzy. Cataract usually forms slowly and people experience a gradual blurring of vision.
You should avoid rubbing or touching your eye. You might find you are sensitive to light, so it is useful to have a pair of plain dark glasses in case you need them. You can buy these at any optical store. The medical and nursing staff will advise you if there are any activities you should avoid. The majority of patients can resume normal physical activity within a day or two. You should be able to return to work the day after the operation, depending on your occupation. If you perform manual work then you may require longer. The doctors and nurses at Nayana Eye Care will advise you. The eye takes a few weeks to settle and for best vision to be determined. Your doctor(ophthalmologist) will advise about spectacles, to improve vision.
No, but you can develop a thickening of the membrane behind the new lens implant which occurs in the months or years following surgery. This thickening is called capsular opacification and causes blurring of vision. This can be treated with a laser as an outpatient procedure.
Your operated eye will be covered with a protective plastic eye shield. Some patients may additionally have an eye pad. Patients will have the eye dressing removed and the eye examined before they go home.
If another pad is put on for the first night at home, you will be asked to remove this yourself the next day and start to put in your eye drops. Patients are advised to wear the protective plastic eye shield when sleeping for two weeks following the operation.
As the anaesthetic wears off, there can be a dull ache felt in and around the eye. You can ask the nurse for tablets for pain relief. You may want to use your normal pain relieving tables when you get home and during the first 24 hours.
Yes. Cataract is more common in people who have certain diseases such as diabetes.
Most forms of cataract develop in adult life. The normal process of ageing causes the lens to harden and become cloudy. This is called age-related cataract and it is the most common type. It can occur at any time after the age of 40.
Yes, but this is rare.
Some people might not be aware that cataract is developing. It can start at the edge of the lens and initially may not cause problems with vision. Generally, as cataract develops, people experience blurring or hazing of vision. Often, they become more sensitive to light and glare.
You might need to get new prescriptions for glasses often when cataract is developing. When cataract worsens, stronger glasses no longer improve sight. Objects have to be held closely to be seen. The hole in the iris, the pupil, may no longer look black , but could look white or yellow, instead. The lens behind the pupil becomes cloudy as the cataract develops.
When cataract progresses to the point that is interfering with daily activities or lifestyle, cataract surgery is usually the next step.
Yes. There are some possible complications during operation.
Less than 5 out of 100 people have complications from cataract surgery that could threaten their sight or require further surgery. The rate of complications increases in people who have other eye diseases in addition to the cataract.1
Although the risk is low, surgery for cataracts does involve the risk of partial to total vision loss if the surgery is not successful or if there are complications. Some complications can be treated and vision loss reversed, but others cannot. Complications that may occur with cataract surgery include:
Infection in the eye (endophthalmitis).
Swelling and fluid in the center of the nerve layer (cystoid macular edema).
Swelling of the clear covering of the eye (corneal edema).
Bleeding in the front of the eye (hyphema).
Bursting (rupture) of the capsule and loss of fluid (vitreous gel) in the eye.
Detachment of the nerve layer at the back of the eye (retinal detachment).
Complications that may occur some time after surgery include:
Problems with glare.
Dislocated intraocular lens.
Clouding of the portion of the lens covering (capsule) that remains after surgery, often called aftercataract (posterior capsular opacification). This is usually not a big problem and can be treated with laser surgery, if needed. The type of IOL may affect how likely it is to have clouding after surgery.
Astigmatism or strabismus.
Sagging of the upper eyelid (ptosis).
Before you have surgery for cataracts, tell your doctor all of the medicines you are taking. That way, your doctor can be prepared to handle any problems that arise. For example, alpha-blockers (such as terazosin) and blood thinners (such as warfarin) can cause problems during the surgery.
Removing cataracts using phacoemulsification is preferred over standard extracapsular surgery because:
The surgery can be done more quickly.
There is less astigmatism after surgery.
Recovery of sight after surgery is faster.
The risk of complications after surgery is less.
The improvement of vision is the same for both procedures. But the healing process is quicker for phacoemulsification.
The more experience your surgeon has, the less likely you are to have problems.
People usually need reading glasses (glasses for near vision) after cataract surgery, no matter which type of surgery is done. But some people may choose to have different lens implants (intraocular lens, or IOL) in their eyes so that one eye can be used for distance vision and the other for near vision (monovision). A type of IOL that allows you to see both distance and near vision is available. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each type of IOL.
In some children, surgery to remove a cataract that causes a lot of vision loss may be very important in preventing blindness. The most critical period for the development of sight is from birth to 3 months. The earlier cataracts in children are diagnosed and treated, the more likely it is that their eyesight will be protected.
Infants have the highest risk (almost 100%) for cloudiness in the back portion of the lens capsule following cataract surgery. If posterior capsule opacification develops after cataract surgery, a laser procedure or a vitrectomy that removes the posterior capsule may be needed. For that reason, most pediatric cataract surgeries remove the central portion of this posterior capsule during the first operation. This may allow better sight and reduce the need for laser surgery.
If a child has cataracts that are causing a lot of vision loss in both eyes, surgery on the second eye needs to be done within a few weeks. As in adults, only one eye is operated on during each surgery. This decreases the chance of complications occurring in both eyes at the same time.
Because of infants’ rapid eyeball growth and for other reasons, some surgeons don’t use IOLs in infants. Instead, an infant will wear a contact lens to replace the lens that is removed from the eye. If surgery can be delayed until the child is 1 to 2 years old, the surgeon may be able to use an IOL to replace the lens in the child’s eye. Surgery cannot always be delayed, though, because of the risk of amblyopia and permanent vision loss.
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