Cataract

Cataracts is one of the most frequent reasons for blurred vision in adulthood. The frequency of this disease increases with age, with over half the population experiencing related problems after the age of 65. Due to a general ageing of the population, the number of people who suffer from cataracts is constantly growing. In Slovenia, between 10 and 20 thousand patients are currently waiting for cataract surgery.

The cause of blurred vision in cataracts disease are disturbances that occur in the eye lens, which is located directly behind the iris. The main function of the lens is to bend rays of light that enter the eye and to project them on a precise part of the eye fundus called the macula. If the lens is blurred, it is more difficult for light to pass through. The light also doesn't bend correctly so that the consequence is unclear and blurred vision. Patients frequently notice that they see worse in poorly lit conditions and have more difficulty recognizing colours. Some patients also notice excessive glaring while in the sunlight and some even experience double vision.

More frequent in women

We are familiar with many factors that contribute to the development of cataracts, the most significant of these certainly being genetic. Cataracts develops slightly more often in women, which is associated with hormonal changes during menopause. Important factors that increase the risk of the development of cataracts and which we have the ability to influence are smoking and exposure to UV-light. It has been proven that people who smoke over 15 cigarettes per day have an up to three times higher risk of developing cataracts. It is also known that near-sighted and brown eyed people are at greater risk of developing cataracts.

The only treatment is surgery

Cataract formation in younger people is often associated with some diseases such as diabetes and chronic eye inflammation. Cataracts can also occur after eye injury. The only effective known treatment for cataracts is surgery during which the blurred natural eye lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed and probably also one of the most successful and safest eye surgeries.

An ultrasound is used to shatter the blurred cataract and to absorb its contents.

 

The most appropriate time for cataract surgery depends primarily on the individual problems of the patient and his or her needs. The belief that cataracts must mature before surgery can be performed is very widespread, but incorrect. Cataracts can be especially unpleasant for patients who are very active and have problems with low visual contrast and/or night vision. Patients whose activities are limited due to this disease can decide to have surgery in the early stages of cataract development.

Choosing the correct lens

The standard intraocular lens used in cataract surgery is a monofocal lens. Monofocal lenses enable sharp distance vision, or vision that is similar to the vision of elderly people who don't have cataracts. A patient with an inserted monofocal lens requires reading glasses after surgery. Modern eye lenses are inserted into the eye through a small three millimetre thick incision using an injector. The lens is inserted into the eye as a rolled up tube. Once inside the eye, it is opened and correctly placed. Over the past decade, the use of multifocal lenses has spread. These so-called premium lenses are equipped with complex optics that enable the bending of light at different angles. This provides the patient with good near and far visual acuity. If the patient decides in favour of a multifocal lens, he or will not require reading glasses after surgery. Many different artificial lenses are used in cataract surgery. At the Morela Ophthalmologists Centre for refractive vision correction surgery, we use only the highest quality implants available on the market when performing cataracts surgery.

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