Introduction to Cataract Surgery
A Cataract is the formation of a cloud like layer on the lens of the eye which eventually leads to decrease or disturbance in the sight of the victim. Cataracts usually occur in people due to aging and most frequently diagnosed in people over the age of 40. Other possible reasons for the occurrence of this disease can also be trauma and radiation exposure. Radiation exposure can be inflicted in a person either from birth or can also be the side effects of an eye surgery done earlier.
When a person is affected by cataract, what it actually means is that clumps of protein or yellow-brown pigment might get deposited on the lens. This condition of pigment deposition leads to lesser amount of light transmission into the retina at the back of the eye. Cataracts are not predictable in nature and differ typically from one case to another, thus making it mandatory for the victim to have a regular diagnosis by an expert. Cataracts can occur on either both the eyes or one depending upon the case.
Consequences of Cataract
Cataract is a time taking disease and is not usually diagnosed or detected in a short period. The gradual growth of the yellow-brown pigment blurs the vision slowly, thus making the victim realise that something is not right with his vision. Although there are quite a few potential symptoms that causes cataract like having trouble seeing bright light, blurred or dimmed vision, halos around colours, trouble seeing things at night and faded colours.
The before mentioned symptoms indicate the existence of the disease, which leads the victim to having difficulty in driving and reading. Cataracts can become lethal diseases on a small scale by causing severe vision problems to the victim that he/she might be led to an extent where they have problems identifying their kith and kin or faces of people close to them whom they have known for a long time. Statistics available with www.wikipedia.com throw light on very alarming data regarding cataracts. Reduced or poor vision as a result of cataract constitutes up to around half of the blindness in the world and forms 33% of visual impairment diseases globally. (Statistics from www.wikipedia.com).
Symptoms and Signs of Cataract
The basic signs of cataract are that it makes you, the victim uncomfortable while looking at the sunlight or as simple as the light emitting from a candle or lamp. Cataracts make the light from the sun or the lamp look too shiny or bright, thus making it difficult for them even faces the direction. It seems like they are glaring right into the eyes of the person.
There are two extreme conditions to this disease in this context. There are high chances of the person facing too much brightness than before from light like the headlights of the oncoming vehicles. On the contrary, there are also equal chances of the victim noticing that the lights are not as bright as before. This disease might increase or decrease the sensitivity of the victim’s eye depending on the case.
Cataract is a silent killer and a very one at it. This deadly condition begins slowly without your attention, grows itself gradually until a certain extent where in you realise that there is blurriness in your vision and disturbance in your sight. This very slow and inattentive growth of this disease makes you ignore the condition in its initial stages and start taking care of it after diagnosis at a later stage. The later stages are when it is mostly diagnosed as the victims start realising that their vision has gotten decreased and that they feel like looking through a cloud.
There are other signs and symptoms.
- Disturbed/blurred vision.
- Having trouble seeing at night.
- Will require more light then usual when reading.
- Appearance of bright colours as dull or yellow or faded.
- Appearance of split image (seeing two images instead of one).
- Extra sensitive to light.
Things to do (After Cataract surgery)
- Consume high dietary intakes of Vitamin E like spinach, sunflower seeds and almonds. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin from your food supplements like kale and other green vegetables decrease the risks of cataract.
- High consumption of multi vitamins keeps your eye safe and reduces the chances of you getting cataract.
- Few studies have shown that antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin C and all food containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of cataract. Both the vitamins protect the eye from free radicals and keep the eye distant from diseases like cataract.
- Keep up the time and use your eye drops and medication, if any, as prescribed by your ophthalmologist.
- Reduce activities that exert stress or burden on the eye such as reading, watching TV, writing or walking. Although you are allowed to do these activities, it is recommended that you ‘reduce’ the time doing it. It is also advised that you reduce physical activity in general.
- It is very essential for you to wear you protective eye wear while you are awake and you are asleep. The eye wear should be worn at all times until the doctor diagnoses your eye and seems it fit to go without the protective wear.
- Try not to sleep on that side of the eye which has been operated. This way, you reduce the burden on the operated eye.
- Make sure you take a shower or bath with your eyes closed, restricting the water from entering your eyes.
- Proper rest is essential on the day of surgery and the day after that. This promotes better healing and reduces recovery time.
Eye drops are usually prescribed for a month and it should be followed properly. The eye drops will prevent your eye from side effects like inflammation or getting an infection.
Things not to do (After Cataract Surgery)
- Avoid alcohol, smoking tobacco and exposure to sunlight for a long time. These reasons are to be avoided before hand to prevent the occurrence of cataract.
- Do not make physical contact directly or indirectly with the eye. Stay in a dust-free environment to protect your eyes. Even water can increase the chances of an infection.
- Swimming or using a hot tub should be strictly prohibited for at least 2 weeks. Letting water have contact with your eye might open the window for an infection to grow.
- You should not drive for 24 hours after the surgery. The head lights of the oncoming vehicles are too intense for the eyes to take. This makes the eye take a lot of stress, thus delaying the recovery time.
- Avoid burdening yourself with physical work like bending and lifting something, a little over 15 pounds. There is a certain amount of pressure put on the eye when you bend and hence it is to be avoided.
- Distance yourself from any kind of eye make-up or cosmetics until your doctor gives you permission to do so. Cosmetics or eye make-up have considerable amount of chemicals in them which might cause damage to the operated eye.
- It is also advised not to vomit or sneeze after the surgery to avoid any kind of pressure on the eye.
Wearing a sun glasses all the time can restrict the sunlight from entering your eyes. This may, at times be meaningful, as the glasses protect your eyes from too much Ultra Violet rays but it also blocks the flow of wavelength which nourishes your eye and is important for overall good health.