Cataract is any congenital or acquired opacity in the capsule or lens contents of the eye. Types such as nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular and anterior subcapsular are found.
According to specialists in Ophthalmology, the main symptoms of cataract are loss of vision, decreased contrast sensitivity in brightly lit environments, increased dioptric power of the lens producing myopia, double vision or even ghost images.
Diagnosis of cataract
To detect if a patient suffers from cataract, he/she must visit an ophthalmologist. The specialist, by means of a thorough examination with a slit lamp, will observe the opacification of the crystalline lens, which is the eye’s natural lens, and which until now was transparent. This opacification is what causes vision to progressively decrease. Apart from this, it is necessary to rule out any other disease in the eye that produces decreased vision, such as high blood pressure or diseases of the cornea or retina.
Patients indicated to undergo surgery to treat cataract are those with VA
Once the diagnosis, indication and lens calculation have been made, the type of intraocular lens that is most suitable for the patient is chosen. There are several types:
– Monofocal lenses correct myopia and hyperopia. Toric lenses correct astigmatism.
– Multifocal lenses distribute light in such a way that they allow both distance and near vision. They are accurate if the patient’s case is well studied beforehand; intermediate vision is not totally satisfactory, except in the case of trifocal lenses. Halos and glare may appear, and toric lenses correct astigmatism in this case.
The surgery is performed using the Phacoemulsification technique. Only anesthesia is used in the eye, and it is a technique that is performed through a small incision, without the need for stitches in most cases and with a very fast recovery.
Objectives of cataract surgery
Each patient receives a treatment according to their needs, type of life, etc. The main objectives to be achieved with surgery are the reduction of visual symptoms, the improvement of visual function, the achievement of a desired refractive state and the improvement of quality of life.
Today, cataract surgery should seek to minimize surgical invasiveness, improve and reduce rehabilitation time, maximize the patient’s visual capacity and restore the ability to see simultaneously at distance and near using different types of lenses.
The specialist, before indicating surgery as a treatment method, should evaluate the patient’s social history in terms of age, profession, lifestyle, and the patient’s desire and expectations to improve visual acuity.
Whenever possible, the best treatment is surgery by conventional phacoemulsification technique or by MICS technique, to reduce possible intraoperative complications and achieve a faster visual recovery. The ultimate goal of cataract surgery is to achieve an emmetropia or visual acuity that meets the patient’s visual expectations, regardless of the technique and type of lens planned to be used.