What is cataract?
The normal human lens is like a clear ‘mirror’ that allows light to enter the eye for clear vision. In cataract, the previously clear ‘mirror’ becomes cloudy (opaque) due to several causes such as increasing biological age, exposure to ultraviolet rays, eye injury, genetics, diabetes mellitus, smoking, drugs and eye infections.
Children are sometimes born with cataracts (congenital cataract) due to varying reasons.
When do I need cataract surgery?
There are varying degrees of opacification of the lens and these give rise to common symptoms like decreased vision, smoky vision, blurry vision, difficulty driving, watching TV or reading, difficult seeing in bright lights etc. Removal of cataract is indicated when the cataract begins to impair or limit a patient’s daily routine, or in cases where removal of the lens is required in order to treat other eye problems.
About the surgery
Your doctor will discuss what to expect, and the type of cataract surgery procedure that will be carried out with you including possible side effects, pre-operative and post-operative tests and eye care. Written instructions are also available. The aim of the surgery is to remove the ‘bad’ lens and implant a new artificial lens (intraocular lens) that will aid vision in most cases. However, there may be conditions where it may not be possible to implant one.
Patients usually get to go home same day of surgery and are seen in clinic the next day for further review.