H M Diwan Eye Foundation
58 Bankim Mukherjee Sarani
Kolkata 700053
Phone 9830939396
info@hmdef.org | www.hmdef.org

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  Cataract  
 
What is cataract?
Cataract is the leading cause of treatable blindness in the world. It is the opacification of the natural lens inside the eye. The lens is a clear tissue found behind the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The lens helps to focus light on the back of the eye - the retina - forming an image. The natural lens is mainly made up of protein and water. When the protein component starts to opacify the lens becomes cataractous. It is usually age related but may also be seen in young people and even in new born infants. Cataract comes with the following symptoms
  • Cloudy or blurry vision.
  • Colours seem faded.
  • Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights.
  • Poor night vision.
  • Double or multiple vision even if seeing with one eye.
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
[These symptoms can also happen with other eye problems.]

Causes of cataract:
Cataracts can form at any age. Most develop as people get older but we don't yet know why, although research is being done into a number of possible causes. In younger people we know that they can result from conditions such as diabetes, certain medications and as complications of other longstanding eye problems.
Treatment of cataract:
There is no effective medical treatment of cataract. The symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses
The only treatment available is surgical removal of the opacified lens and replacing it with an artificial intra ocular lens (IOL).  Sometimes a cataract should be removed even if it does not cause problems with your vision. For example, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
If you have cataracts in both eyes that require surgery, the surgery will be performed on each eye separately, with at least a week in between.
The right time for the operation:
In the past, eye specialists often waited until the cataract became "ripe" or “mature” and your vision was very poor before suggesting that you had the cataract removed. Nowadays, with modern surgery, the operation is usually done as soon as your eyesight interferes with your daily life and your ability to read, to work, or do the things you enjoy. You will probably want to consider surgery if this is the case.
 
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