Cataract is one of the most common causes of vision loss, a vision loss that can be recovered. Cataract is a pathology of the eye that can affect any person in any age range, although it is more frequent in people over 65 years of age, although sometimes it affects younger people.
Inside the eye there is a natural lens known as crystalline lens, which is used to focus and see well. Over the years, this lens can become opaque.
Thus, a cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens that progressively reduces vision and may take several years to appear. As soon as the opacity increases, the quality and sharpness of vision decreases and may cause some discomfort.
It is worth mentioning that cataract is a totally normal process in the life of any person, although it is true that it may bother some people more than others.
The most obvious and most common sign of cataracts is decreased vision, although at first the patient will not be aware that he or she is developing a cataract.
Other symptoms, although perhaps less common, include the following:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Poor night vision
- Ease of reading without glasses when they were previously necessary.
As the cataract progresses, the degree of vision decreases progressively and if left untreated, it can even lead to blindness.
On the other hand, there are factors that can develop or cause cataracts, such as diabetes or rheumatic diseases. The consumption of medications, congenital diseases and traumatic diseases can also cause the appearance of cataracts.
Treatment of cataracts
Although it is not an ophthalmologic emergency, a cataract should be operated when the ophthalmologist recommends it, contrary to the formerly widespread thought that it is better to operate when the cataract has completely closed the vision.
Cataract treatment is always surgical.
Nowadays, technological advances allow cataract surgery with very sophisticated equipment and local anesthesia.
The main technique used to treat this pathology is phacoemulsification, which eliminates the cataract by means of ultrasound and immediately implants an intraocular lens. This lens is introduced into the eye through a small incision, and improves vision quickly and on an outpatient basis, that is, without the need for hospitalization.
Congenital cataract should also be mentioned, since it affects children at a very early age. Congenital cataracts should be operated as soon as they are diagnosed, thus avoiding the so-called lazy eye or lazy eyes.
The patient who has undergone cataract surgery will notice a noticeable improvement in vision within a couple of months.