Cataract – Is surgery the best option?
Cataract is not a new term for us. It is one of the common signs of aging. Mostly, cataract is diagnosed in people over fifty years of age.
As per the research studies, cataract is one of the common reasons for loss of vision among the people. It is expected that over 30 million people in the country approximately will have a cataract by the year 2020. It is a major cause of blindness in the world.
However, if you have been diagnosed with cataract, don’t worry. There are different treatment options available for cataract. And when prescription glasses fail to work, you can opt for cataract surgery.
This article intends to create awareness about the different treatment options available for cataract so that you can easily decide whether cataract surgery is right for you or not.
What is cataract?
Although the name sounds common, many individuals might be ignorant about the symptoms and treatment of cataracts. Before knowing the treatment options for cataract, it’s important to know what exactly its symptoms are.
The natural lens in our eyes helps us in our vision. Cataract is nothing but the clouding of the lens in the eyes as a sign of aging. This may lead to loss of vision.
Symptoms of cataract
Poor vision, increased sensitivity to light, blurry or double vision, lack of vision in dim light, fading or yellowing of the colors, the difficulty of vision at nights, etc. are common symptoms of cataract. Cataract patients may need brighter light to read or do other activities. Also, it is observed that people with cataract will have to change the power of the contract lens frequently.
Treatment for cataract
At the earlier stages of a cataract, the vision can be corrected using correcting glasses or contact lenses. Your doctor may suggest strong bifocals, magnifying glasses, extra lighting, or any other visual aids for improving your vision. When these methods do not work anymore, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery. It is one of the effective treatment methods for cataract.
Understanding cataract surgery
As cataract starts affecting your day-to-day activities and causes loss of vision, it is better to opt for surgical removal of the cataract. Cataract surgery is one of the commonest surgery performed in the country. During the surgery, the cataract lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The lens is called intraocular lens which is used to reinstate clear vision.
What happens during the surgery?
Mostly, cataract surgery is an outpatient process. It will be performed under local anesthesia or topical anesthetic. The procedure may take around 15-30 minutes. You can return home once the procedure is over.
In traditional surgery, the clouded lens is removed using ultrasound energy. The high-frequency ultrasound device is used to break the cloudy lens into pieces. Then they are gently removed from the eye using suction. Once it is removed, the surgeon inserts a clear intraocular lens. It will be positioned rightly between the iris and pupil. The incision will be closed after the procedure. Your surgeon will put a protective shield to protect your eyes post-surgery.
These days, most of the cataract surgeries are performed using laser technology. In the laser cataract surgery, your surgeon will use a femtosecond laser instead of a hand-held surgical tool. It will be used for these procedures- corneal incision, the anterior capsulotomy, and lens and cataract segmentation.
Laser cataract surgery is less complicated than the traditional surgical procedure. The use of laser improves accuracy, precision, and predictability of the cataract surgery. However, the cataract surgery cost using traditional technology is less, and still a good percentage of people opt for it.
Is cataract surgery effective?
Cataract surgery is a safe and simple procedure in which the cataract lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The procedure is an effective remedy to avoid cataract and retain clear vision. It is an outpatient procedure which has a fast recovery and a high success rate. These reasons make it the best option to treat cataract.
Post the surgery; you will have a clear vision. You may wear your eyewear after the procedure to protect your eyes and for better comfort and appearance. However, you will no longer have any symptoms of cataract after the surgery without glasses. And that explains why most people diagnosed with cataract opt for the surgery.
Should you consider surgery?
Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the safest and effective procedures available for cataract. Also, cataract surgery cost is reasonable. However, you need to discuss with your doctor whether this treatment option is right for you. Eye specialists recommend the surgical procedure for cataract when it starts affecting the quality of your life.
Consult your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of the surgery and decide if it is the best option for you.