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Cataract – only one option: the surgical treatment!

 

What is cataract?

Cataract is the most frequent eye disorder of the elderly, present in approx. 80% of them. There are, however, particular forms of cataract, such as: congenital (in infants), complicated (associated with other eye diseases), pathological (associated with metabolic disorders) and traumatic.

Which are the causes of cataract?

The causes are not fully discovered. They can be: age, heredity, UV radiations, smoking, etc.

What are its symptoms?

Cataract is characterized by the clouding of the lens; in other works, the intraocular lens loses its transparence, which prevents light from entering the eye and the image from forming. Most of the times, the evolution of the disease is slowly progressive, with the patient noticing the gradual decrease of visual acuity, the “hazing of the sight”, the decrease of contrast sensitivity, the blurry perception of colors. In advanced stages, sight is deeply altered and the patient finds it difficult to conduct routine activities.

The diagnosis is set after a full ophthalmological check, when the degree of “maturation” of the cataract is assessed, as well as the coexistence of other eye disorders.

How is cataract treated?

The preservation treatment, by the administration of eye drops, is deceptive. The only efficient treatment is the surgical one. The modern method is called “phacoemulsification with implantation of foldable artificial lens”. As compared with the “classic” method, which is almost obsolete nowadays, this method has the following advantages: small incision (~ 2mm), no suture, the absence of a post-operative astigmatism, low risk of infections, fast healing.

With rare exceptions, the cataract operation is not an emergency; basically, it is treated when sight begins to deteriorate.

The restoration of sight is spectacular, starting from the second post-operative day, with the exception of patients that suffer from associated eye disorders (e.g.: diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, etc.), in whom recovery depends on the remaining functional reserve.

Post-operative treatment involves the administration of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for 1 month.

 

source: the Marketing & Communication Dept. @ Metropolitan Hospital