Blurry Or Cloudy Vision: Can It Be Cataract? Expert Tells
Cataract: It is a painless and progressive clouding of the natural internals lens of the eyes. They block light, thereby hindering vision and can lead to blindness over a period of time. Blurry vision is one of the most common symptoms of cataract.
Cataracts develop when ageing or injury changes the tissues in the lens
- Cataract can be caused by an eye surgery in the past
- Family history of cataract can also put you at risk
- Exposure to radiation and excessive strain to the eyes can cause cataract
The COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges, has led to adverse effects on the eyes, translating into a higher number of patients reporting a wide range of eye problems. This is because the pandemic has led to a behavioural shift with a steady and excessive rise in screen time. We are currently doing most of the routine activities 'virtually'- from online classes to office meetings. In addition to these, increasing stress and lack of sleep due to scrolling on the screen till late at night has worsened the situation. Long-term exposure to the screen can cause problems such as eye fatigue, headache, concentration difficulties, dry and irritated eyes and blurring of vision.
Of these, blurry vision is one of the most common symptoms of cataract. A cataract is a painless and progressive clouding of the natural internals lens of the eyes. They block light, thereby hindering vision and can lead to blindness over a period of time. It is also one of the leading causes of preventable blindness and can be treated surgically by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear lens.
Also read: 5 Symptoms That You Have Cataract
What causes cataract and what are the reasons behind it?
In addition to the above factors, cataracts develop when ageing or injury changes the tissues in the lens. Some inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems can increase risk. Cataracts can also be caused by other eye conditions, past eye surgery or medical conditions.
The risk factors for cataracts include:
- Poor diet
- Previous eye injuries
- Family history of cataracts
- Excessive exposure to the sun
- Exposure to radiation and excessive strain to the eyes
Cataract: Know the treatment options
Surgery is a recommended option for treating cataracts that disable you from performing daily tasks. During surgery, the natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. Following are the different types of cataract surgeries:
- Phacoemulsification involves the use of ultrasound waves to break the lens apart and remove the pieces
- Micro incision cataract surgery (MICS) involves removing the cloudy part of the lens through a long incision in the cornea
Also read: Give Your Eyes A Break With These Exercises
Advancements in treatment of cataract
A new and first-of-its-kind Intraocular Lens (IOL) has been recently launched for treating eye problems. IOL is an artificial lens that is implanted into the eye and replaces the natural lens when a cataract is removed. The new IOL is a technologically advanced lens created for Presbyopia (age-related decrease in the eye's ability to focus on nearby objects) correction, on the monofocal (fixed single distance) platform. It provides the advantages of multifocal lenses while based on the much better monofocal design. The new IOL also ensures an extended range of vision from far to near distance while decreasing the chances of visual disturbances and glare or halo.
The new IOL lens implants may not completely eliminate the need for eyeglasses. While reading can be easier with the monofocal lens implant, one may need reading glasses at a close distance. However, in case of a slightly larger print like in menu cards or mobile phones, reading is possible without glasses. Therefore, compared to having distance focused monofocal lens implants, the new IOL reduces the need for reading glasses. It provides a continuous range of vision from distance till at arm's length.
What are the points that a patient must keep in mind before and after undergoing surgery?
Cataract surgery is a common procedure that is often performed in a day and does not require hospital stay. However, it is important to undertake certain measures pre and post-surgery such as:
Ahead of the surgery:
- Use eye drops or medication as prescribed by the doctor the night before
- Avoid wearing perfume, make-up or cologne
- Washing your hands with soap and water before touching the eyedrop vial
- Take your eyedrops and medication on time basis the guidelines prescribed by the doctor
- Avoid rubbing the eyes
(Dr Sudipto Pakrasi, Chairman, Ophthalmology, Medanta)
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