Cataract

Friday, April 3, 2009

A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye. It varies in degree from slight to complete opacity which blocks the passage of light. This gradual yellowing and clouding of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colors. Cataracts usually develops slowly to cause vision loss and are potentially blinding if untreated. Although this condition usually affects both the eyes, one eye is always affected earlier than the other.

The cataract can sometimes cause phacomorphic glaucoma. Very advanced cataracts with weak zonules are liable to dislocation anteriorly or posteriorly. Cataracts develop from a variety of reasons, including advanced age, long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, exposure to radiation, secondary effects of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.

Cataract operations are usually performed using a local anaesthetic and the patient is allowed to go home the same day. Recent improvements in intraocular technology now allow cataract patients to choose a multifocal lens to create a visual environment in which they are less dependent on glasses. Under some medical systems multifocal lenses cost extra. Traditional intraocular lenses are monofocal.