Eye Health Care Indications For Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blurred vision throughout the world. These are commonly associated with the older age group. Over the years, these can severely interfere with vision that cataract surgery will be needed to restore normal eyesight.
The risk of cataract formation is directly proportional with age. Research has shown that aside from the natural ageing process, there are risk factors that can contribute to cataract formation like diabetes, smoking, alcohol intake, and chronic exposure to sunlight.
The formation of cataracts cannot be stopped but there are ways to delay its formation, including eye protection by wearing sunglasses to block ultraviolet rays.
Avoiding alcohol and smoking can also help delay its formation. Nutritionists recommend eating fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in antioxidants to reduce the risk for age related cataracts. Vitamin supplements have been shown to be helpful in delaying most age related diseases.
The development of cataracts is slow and often goes unnoticed. The crystalline lens of the eye or the clear front portion undergoes metabolic changes causing proteins to clump together in a small area of the lens. This is cataract formation. After a while, the cataract grows larger until it covers a considerable part of the lens, making it very hard to see clearly. Both eyes are usually involved although one eye can be more affected than the other.
In almost all cases, the cloudy patches become bigger and less and less light can pass through the lens. The early symptoms are blurred vision, reduced night vision, and strong glare or dazzle from lights such as approaching car headlights.
Other signs and symptoms include the appearance of halo around lights, colours seem faded, there can be double vision, and sometimes, multiple images are seen in one eye especially when the cataract gets larger. Patients might also notice that vision becomes so blurred that there may be frequent prescription changes in glasses or contact lenses.
Most often, these vision impairments are managed with brighter lighting. The patient may also opt to have new glasses and wear anti glare sunglasses during the day. For viewing smaller objects, magnifying lenses can be used for better visualisation.
Still, these simple things will not stop the cataract from growing. Unfortunately, there are no medications or injections that that can stop blurring of vision or clear the cloudy lens.
Around half of people over the age of 65 have a certain degree of cataract formation in one or both eyes. People can start having cataracts by the age of 40 to 50 but it is during the later years that it can adversely affect vision.
If the cataract does not get in the way of daily activities, then the cataract can be left alone. The operation can be scheduled at a later time or when the patient finally decides to do so. But even with eye care and new glasses, the lens will become progressively cloudy if surgery is not done.
Although, there is really no danger in the cataract formation itself, the problem lies with safety concerns when moving about, driving, crossing the street, and the like.
When the cataract is evidently getting in the way of daily activities and severely affects reading or driving, cataract surgery may be inevitable. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, with quick recovery time and excellent success rate.
The procedure typically lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. Highly skilled eye doctors and modern equipment have made it easier to do the operation. Improvement in vision is seen almost immediately. Eyesight will continue to improve until about a month after surgery. Depending on the replacement lens used, some people might need to wear glasses for either near or distance vision, or both. Others may not need to wear glasses altogether.
Today, people may no longer need to wait for the cataracts to grow considerably that they could barely see. Modern techniques in cataract surgery have made cataract removal safer and quicker than ever.
One of the most useful methods for vision correction particularly done among the older population is refractive lens exchange. This cutting edge technique makes it possible to remove the cataract and treat refractive errors such as short sightedness and long sightedness, all in one simple operation.
Subir Mukherjee is involved in healthcare market research since 2009. He writes about various healthcare topics including herbal health and alternative medicines.