According to the World Health Organization, there are at least 2.2 billion people with near or distant vision impairment with 94 million people suffering from cataracts. A cataract is a dense cloudy area that occurs in the lens of your eye. It begins when protein in your eyes causes clumps to form that inhibit the transmission of signals from the lens to the retina. The retina’s function is to convert the light transmitted by the lens into signals. Although you can develop cataracts in both eyes, it does not occur at the same time. Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t cause any problems with your eyesight in the early stages. However, with time they interfere with your vision.
Common signs and symptoms of cataracts include;
· Blurred, clouded, or dim vision
· Sensitivity to glare and light
· Trouble seeing at night
· Seeing halos around lights
· Yellowing or fading of colors
· Double vision in the affected eye
· The need to frequently change your prescription glasses.
Your doctor determines whether you have a cataract by reviewing your medical history and symptoms and also performing an eye examination.
The physician might conduct several tests including;
When you consult the best ophthalmologist Dubai clinic, he might conduct the visual acuity test which involves reading from an eye chart to determine how well you can see. The physician tests one eye at a time while the other is covered. Your ophthalmologist determines whether you have 20/20 vision by using a viewing device with progressively smaller letters or a chart. It also determines whether your eyes show any signs of impairment.
The physician puts drops in your eyes to dilate the pupils to prepare for the retina exam. Dilating the pupils makes it easy to examine the retina. The doctor uses an ophthalmoscope or a slit lamp to examine the lens of your eyes for signs of cataracts.
A slit-lamp examination allows your doctor to examine the structures at the front of your eyes under magnification. The slit lamp (microscope) uses an intense line called a slit to illuminate your iris, cornea, lens, and the space between your iris and cornea. The physician can view these structures through the slit in small sections; this allows the doctor to detect even the tiniest abnormalities.
Your doctor uses this test to measure the fluid pressure in your eye.
When you are diagnosed with cataracts, you can choose various treatment options before opting for surgery. Treatment includes surgically removing the cataract and non-surgical methods to improve the symptoms of vision deterioration. You and your doctor can decide on the best treatment plan based on the severity and type of cataract.
Treatment options include;
Early treatment is important because it helps to improve your vision. Cataract symptoms might appear as blurry or cloudy vision, poor night vision, light sensitivity, double vision, or the need to frequently change your prescription glasses. You can improve cataract symptoms with anti-glare glasses, new eyeglasses, or magnifying lenses.
Your physician can also add certain coatings and tints to the lenses to reduce cataract symptoms. You can also reduce the symptoms by better positioning reading lights and lamps. Your physician might also recommend that you wear a hat in addition to quality sunglasses when outdoors; this helps prevent cataracts from further development.
Surgical cataract treatment is the last option when non-surgical options are not effective. Surgery is considered when a cataract grows and interferes with your vision to the point where it affects your lifestyle. However, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any other eye conditions apart from cataracts to discuss the benefits, risks, expected results, and alternatives.
Cataract surgery entails removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Your eye doctor will consider surgery if your corrected vision is 20/40 or worse. Vision 20/40 affects your daily and occupation life.
Surgery is performed on one eye at a time; this helps to minimize complications. Surgery is done using local anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center and you get released when surgery is over. Your physician will recommend that you wear an eye patch on the first night after surgery for eye protection. After the first post-operative visit, you need to wear a nightguard patch for several nights.
After the first week of surgery, take it easy and avoid carrying heavy objects and bending over. Your physician will also prescribe post-operative medications for 3 to 4 weeks.
Common methods include;
Phacoemulsification is the most common method of removing cataracts. The physician inserts an ultrasonic device that vibrates at a very high speed into your eye via a very tiny incision. The ultrasonic device releases waves to soften and break up the lens carefully to allow for removal through suction. The physician then inserts an artificial lens into your eye. The doctor might use one stitch or none to close the wound depending on the type of incision used.
Although this procedure is similar to phacoemulsification, it includes a larger incision that allows the lens to be removed in one piece. Because this procedure requires a larger incision, you need several stitches or sutures to close the wound.
This procedure requires the removal of the entire lens and its capsule via a large incision. Surgeons might use this procedure with extremely advanced cataracts.
It is crucial to consult your eye doctor when you notice any changes in your vision. If the doctor diagnoses you with cataracts, you are referred to an eye specialist for surgery. Prepare by;
· Listing your symptoms
· Noting down all your medications
· List several questions to ask your doctor.
Cataracts can cause changes in your vision and they not only affect older people but also young people. Certain medications, injuries, and genetic conditions can cause cataracts even in very young people. However, you should know that not all vision changes are linked to cataracts.
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