Cataract is considered as the most common cause of vision loss among people over the age of 40 and is also the principal cause of blindness in the world. But it is not necessary that only people over the age of 40 get Cataract. People in the early years of their life also can suffer from cataract. In most cases, these kinds of cataracts are small and do not affect a person’s vision, but with time they grow and interfere with one’s sight and even can cause blindness.
Since cataract is a progressive disease, it is always advisable to get routine eye checkups every year, as diagnosis in the early stages of the disease helps in successful treatment. So to help you identify the condition at an early stage, here are the most identifiable symptoms of the condition.
Cloudy or blurry vision.
Colors that appear faded or washed out.
Sensitivity to light, glare, and halos around lights.
Poor night vision.
Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger)
Frequent changes to eyeglass or contact lenses prescriptions
If you do notice these symptoms it is best you visit a doctor who will test you for the presence of cataracts, here’s what the diagnosis will entail:
Refraction or visual acuity test: This test uses a chart and is performed to measure how well one can see and read the letters written in a series from various distances.
Dilated eye exam or retinal examination: This test is done to examine the back of the eyes (retina). For this, drops are placed in the eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. An instrument called ophthalmoscope or a slit lamp is used to look for any sign of cataract.
Slit lamp examination: Performed to closely examine the eye’s cornea, iris, lens and the space between the iris and cornea, this test helps the doctor examine the eye in small, detailed sections and makes it easier to spot any abnormality.
Once diagnosed, your doctor will tell you about the treatment options you have, here what you need to know about cataract treatment:
Cataract being a progressive impairment cannot be treated with medications. While in some cases it can be managed with frequent changes in prescription contact lenses and glasses, but in some case cataract worsens and vision impairment begins to interfere with routine activities like driving and reading. Under most circumstances a cataract surgery is needed to correct the condition.
With the advanced technology and surgical techniques available today, surgical treatment for Cataract has become easier, faster, safer and more accurate. The surgery can be performed in the early or advanced stages of cataract development.
known as Phacoemulsification (also known as key-hole surgery), the surgery is done using a machine known as the phaco machine to remove the natural cataractous lens and replace it with an artificial clear lens called Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). Another procedure is called the MICS (Micro Incisional Cataract Surgery) a phaco machine is used to send a probe through a 1.8 mm incision close to the cornea and removes the cataract.
Another technologically advanced surgery is the use of the phaco machine in a procedure called Femtosecond Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery’ (FLRCS). This technology uses a combination of phaco machine and laser machine. Being a blade-free and hands-free surgery, it offers a high level of safety and accuracy.
While cataracts are not life threatening, it can cause an impedance in your daily life, so it is best that you visit your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms. more