What should I know about Cataract?
Well you may have heard of or bump into the term cataract or seen advertisements on cataract surgery and maybe you are wondering, will I ever go through this and require a cataract surgery to be done by a cataract surgeon? Do not fear as in this article we will cover cataract removal in Singapore and everything you will ever need to learn about cataract.
What is cataract?
Cataract is basically the clouding of the lens that is in your eye that will affect your vision. Cataracts are mostly related to aging and are more common in older people. It can occur in either or both of your eyes.
However it is unable to spread from one eye to another. In simple terms, for your eyes to see as per normal it would require light to pass through a clear lens that is behind your iris. This lens focuses the light so that your eye and brain are able to work together to process the image.
A cataract basically affects that as it means that your lens has become foggy and your eyes will not be able to focus on light in the same way and this leads to loss of vision or blurry vision. Your vision will change depending on the location and size of the cataract.
What causes or increases the risk of getting a contract?
This lens is located behind the iris and the pupil. It is similar to how a camera lens works. It focuses light onto your retina at the back of your eyes where the image is then recorded. These lenses adjust the eye’s focus as well which lets us see things clearly both close up and far away.
The lenses are mostly made of protein and water. The protein is precisely arranged in a way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it. As we grow older in age, a portion of the protein may begin to clump together and cause a cloud in a small area of the lens. This is called cataract. The bigger the cataract grows the more it will cloud the lens which will make it even more difficult to see.
This is one of the unpleasant parts of aging. However there are some things that you should take note of as these things help to speed up the process of cataract formations such as:
- Steroids, medication that help with arthritis and lupus
- Radiation to your upper body
- Being in the sun a lot without eye protection
- Previous eye injuries or surgery
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
What are the symptoms of cataract?
When it first starts, the cataract clouding your lens may be so small that it barely affects your vision, you may not be aware of any vision loss. As the cataract gets worse and clouds more your lens and affects the light passing through your lens. You will then definitely easily start noticing the symptoms such as:
- Poor night vision
- Colours seem to be faded
- Blurry vision
- Having double vision
- Sensitive to bright light
- Needing brighter light to read
Types of cataracts
- Cataracts that affect the centre of your lens (Nuclear Cataracts)
At first this cataract may cause more nearsightedness and even temporarily improve your reading vision. As time goes past, the lens will slowly turn more yellow which clouds your vision further. As the cataract progresses, it may even lead to the lens turning brown. If there is an advancement of yellowing or browning lenses it can be difficult to figure out the actual colour of the lens.
- Cataracts that affect the edges of your lens (Cortical Cataracts)
It begins as whitish, wedge-shaped opacities or streaks on the edge of the lens cortex. As it gradually gets worse, the streaks will extend to the center and eventually interfere with the light passing through the center of the lens.
- Cataracts that you may be borned with (Congenital Cataracts)
Cataracts can be borned with for some people or developed during childhood. These cataracts could be associated with trauma or genetics. They may also be caused due to certain conditions such as myotonic,dystrophy and galactosemia. Congenital cataracts do not always affect vision but if they happen to, they are usually removed once they have been detected.
- Cataracts that will affect the back of your lens (Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts)
It starts as a small, opaque area that is normally formed at the back of your lens, directly in the path of light. A posterior subcapsular cataract usually interferes with your reading vision, reduces your vision when in bright light and can cause glares or halos around lights. These types of cataracts progress much faster than the other types.
Is Cataract Surgery Effective?
Bladeless Cataract Surgery is one of the most common operations as there are currently a large number of people who require cataract surgery. It is done by a professional eye surgeon. It is also known to be one of the most safest and effective types of surgery. More than 90 percent of people that go for the cataract surgery have much better vision afterwards.
What Are The Risks Involved?
Well as with any surgery, there is definitely risk involved. You need not need to worry as your doctor will give you the right information on what you should do. Once your surgery is done, it is required of you to keep your eyes clean, always wash your hands before touching your eye, and use the medication that has been prescribed by your doctor to minimise the risk of any infections. A serious infection could result in the loss of vision.
What Happens After the Surgery?
There will be mild discomfort and itchiness. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light and touch. After one to two days the moderate discomfort should disappear. The doctor will highly likely ask you to apply eye drops constantly to prevent dryness in your eyes. You will be required to wear glasses to protect your eyes and to avoid pressing and rubbing your eyes.
Before you make any decisions about your eyes it is important to always consult a few people as well as do your own research so when doctors share information with you it will be easy for you to understand what they are saying. There are many professionals in Singapore that do cataract surgery, all you need to do is make an appointment and they will inform you on what can be done.
If you think or you feel like you have cataract but you are not completely sure as there are not many symptoms. It is always good to just visit a doctor to get it checked out by a professional as you never know what it could be and it is always better to catch these issues earlier. We hope this article has helped you learn more about cataract and how you take care of yourself.