Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. It is usually due to aging. Rarely, some babies are born with cataracts and this risk increases if there is a family member who also has this problem from birth.
It can also occur at an earlier stage in:
Patients with high myopia (short-sightedness)
Patients with diabetes
Patients on certain medications such as steroids or chemotherapy drugs
Patients who have had any injury or surgery to the eye
Possible indications that you might have a cataract developing:
There may be blurry or cloudy vision which is more pronounced in the evenings or at night. Some cataracts may cause vision to be much worse in bright daylight. Frequent change in the glasses power especially a sudden increase in short-sightedness may be an indication. Please consult an eye specialist to confirm if you have cataract and also to exclude any other possible causes for the poor vision.
When to consider Surgery?
Glasses may help cataracts in the early stages however when the vision is blurred to an extent that daily activities are affected, cataract surgery by specialist eye surgeons may be necessary to help you to see better.
How is cataract surgery done?
In cataract surgery, the cloudy cataract lens is removed during a day surgery procedure, usually by ultrasound (phacoemulsification) and replaced with an artificial lens implant.
Answers to some FAQs of cataract surgery:
– Surgery takes about 30 minutes.
– There is no need to stay overnight in the hospital.
– Surgery can be performed without any injection to the eye area.
– An anaesthetist may be engaged to provide sedation during surgery to ensure you are comfortable and relaxed.
Types of artificial lens implants?
They are either monofocal or multifocal. If there is astigmatism in the eye, there is an option of using a toric lens implant to correct this. Your eye surgeon is the best person to recommend the type of implant which is most suitable for you based on the tests that are performed.
With multifocal implants, you have a good chance of not needing any glasses for normal viewing and for reading.