What are the types of Cataract surgeries?
Before we get into the types of cataract surgeries, let’s understand briefly about cataracts. We have lenses in our eyes which converge the light rays from our surroundings and make them fall on our retina. This is how our eyes obtain visual information and send it to the brain to process it and form images. This phenomenon is possible when the lenses are clear to get the visual information from the surroundings. When the lenses become cloudy, the eyes cannot obtain the optical information properly. This condition is called cataracts. A person diagnosed with cataracts has blurry or cloudy vision, making it difficult for them to do their daily tasks.
What causes Cataracts?
Generally, cataracts occur after age 40 due to specific eye changes, like a breakdown of proteins in the eyes, which causes cloudy lenses. Cataracts occur in younger people also due to some lifestyle habits like not following eye care routines, etc. There are other reasons which cause cataracts like
- History of cataracts in family members
- Any eye-related injuries or pre-existing eye conditions
- Spending too much time in the sun without any eye protection
Diagnosis of Cataracts
When you visit an ophthalmologist, this is the order of the tests performed.
- First, a visual acuity test is performed to determine the score of your eyesight. The test includes reading letters and numbers of different font sizes placed at a distance of 6 meters or 20 feet.
- Second, a slit lamp is used to properly examine the front part of the eyes, which includes the cornea, iris, and lens, to assess the condition.
- Certain eye drops will be poured into your eyes to widen your pupils. This process is called dilation. When your eyes are dilated, the doctor can see the back part of the eye with the same slit lamp equipment to get a clear assessment of the condition of the retina.
During these tests, doctors look for signs of other eye conditions like Glaucoma, Retina and Optic nerve condition, etc.
Treatment for Cataracts
After the diagnosis, if it is revealed that you have cataracts, the following options are offered as treatment.
- If the cataract condition is not problematic, there is no need for cataract surgery. A new prescription of eyeglasses will do the job of improving eyesight.
If the condition is severe, then performing cataract surgery is the only option to treat the condition. There are two options for surgery,
- The most common and preferred form of cataract surgery is Phacoemulsification surgery, known as phaco. In this procedure, a small hole is made in the eye’s outer surface, the cornea. Then the Surgeon inserts a tiny probe into that hole. This probe generates ultrasound waves which soften and breaks the lens into little pieces. Then these pieces are picked up by suction.
- The second form of surgery is extracapsular surgery, which involves making a longer incision ( a surgical cut ) to the side of the Cornea and removing the cloudy part of the lens in one go. Then the rest of the lens is removed through suction.
After the procedure, irrespective of what type of surgery is performed, an artificial lens is placed in place of the removed lens. These are called intraocular lenses (IOL), made up of plastic. The patients will not notice any difference between the natural lens and IOL.
Depending on your post-operative visual needs and goals, IOL can be:
- Monofocal IOL
- Toric IOL
- Multifocal IOL
- Extended depth of focus IOL (EDOF)
The cataract surgery procedure takes up to 10 to 30 minutes to complete and another 30 minutes to recover from the effects of the sedative.
After the surgery, the Surgeon will prescribe certain medications like antibiotic eye drops and other medicines for post-operation recovery.
Eventually, everything depends on the diagnosis report regarding the condition of your cataract. The most commonly followed surgical procedure is Phacoemulsification surgery because of its convenience.
Are you experiencing symptoms of cataracts?
It’s better to get tested and know the status of your condition from one of the most reputed eye care hospitals in Hyderabad. Book your appointment now for all eye-related services.
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