Cataracts – Cause and Effects
Cataract is caused by clouding of the natural lens in our eye. It occurs as a natural process of aging & it is most common in people beyond the age of 60. But it can occur in those in their 40s and 50s as well. With each passing generation, we are seeing cataracts occurring at a younger age. The exact reason for this is unclear, but excess exposure to sunlight, UV radiation, smoking, injury to the eye, use of certain medications like corticosteroids can cause cataracts. The incidence of diabetes is also on the rise and this is another major reason for the early development of cataracts.
Among youngsters, the first symptom of the onset of cataract is an impairment to night vision, and sensitivity to bright lights can cause increased glare which is caused by hazy vision. While it does not affect the patients under normal light conditions, it does become more pronounced if ignored. As time increases the entire lens becomes clouded leading to complete obstruction of vision.
When should I get my cataract surgery done?
The advancement in technology and technique has ensured that cataract surgery is now one of the safest surgeries performed worldwide. It is better to get the cataract surgery done at an earlier stage when the cataract is not yet hard. This is very important, as removal of cataracts at the right stage allows an easy and uncomplicated surgery with a very quick recovery.
Are there any options other than surgery to cure my cataract?
Currently there are no medications that can cure cataract. Surgery is the only way to treat cataracts.
While older patients tend to delay getting their cataract removed, the younger generation wastes no time at all. They prefer immediate surgery and its further reassurance that cataract surgeries are one of the most common and simple corrective surgeries performed. With technological advancements in the field, recovery time is just 24 hrs while the surgery itself takes only about 20 mins.
The surgery involves a small incision in the cornea wherein the natural lens is replaced with an artificial one. The procedure is painless, done with just the use of drops, with no injections required. The visual recovery is also immediate. Post-surgery this eye is covered with a patch for a few hours after which the patient can resume all normal activities. Unlike most surgeries, cataract removal is virtually painless. The vision may fluctuate for a few days but does not preclude us from continuing our daily activities.
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with cataracts, or any other visual disturbances, please contact your doctor immediately.