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Cataract: Myths & Facts!

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Clinical Directorate

Cataract

Cataract: Myths & Facts!

Dr. Parul Sharma
Eye Care, Ophthalmology
Eye Care, Ophthalmology
Head of Department-Gurgaon / Associate Director-Delhi

Myth: Cataract is an old age problem

Fact: Most cataracts are senile but can occur at any age. They can also be congenital or caused by steroid intake, injury, diabetes or eye inflammations.

Myth: Cataract can be prevented by medicines, diet, eye exercise or yoga/Cataract can be cured by eyedrops, diet or yoga.

Fact: There is no prevention or medical cure for cataract. The only definitive treatment is cataract surgery. For your surprise some early cataracts may never progress and may require no treatment if they are not causing any problem in the vision.

Myth: Cataract surgery should be delayed and done only when it matures or ripens.

Fact: Best time to get the surgery done is when you start having early visual problems.  There is no point in delaying the surgery too much as the ultrasonic system works faster and is safer on softer cataracts than the hard or mature ones.

Myth: Is it true that cataract can be removed with lasers without incision? Or the complete surgery is bladeless and doe with laser only?

Fact: There is no surgery possible without an incision. Cataract is opacity or clouding of natural lens, which is removed by ultrasonic fragmentation of cataract into tiny pieces by phaco probe and sucked through a small incision (2.2mm). At present, we are using the Femto laser-bladeless technique of operating cataract. This technique creates incisions, then circular opening of anterior capsule and partial nucleus fragments, which is further followed by routine phacoemulsification with insertion of foldable intraocular lens. Hence, laser assists in few steps of phaco surgery but does not completely replace it.

Myth: Cataract surgery-both femtolaser assisted and phacoemulsification is painful and its recovery time is long.

Fact: The complete surgery takes around 15mins on table and is done as a day care surgery. Usually, the surgery is done by giving local anesthetic eye drops, which refrains the doctor from using injections, pads and bandages. Patients are allowed to do their routine activities from the next day itself and are allowed to resume work in few days.

Myth: Spectacles are never required after cataract surgery.

Fact: We aim at getting rid of spectacles after cataract surgery but it may not be possible for various reasons. Monofocal intraocular lens are suited well for distance despite that you have to wear reading glasses. Multifocal intraocular lens gives freedom from both distance and near glasses after cataract surgery or decrease dependence on them. But these multifocal lens are not suitable for everyone, so doctor needs to decide that after examining your eyes.

Myth: Cataract can reoccur or regrow.

Fact: Cataract never regrows. Sometimes after surgery the capsule behind the intraocular lens becomes cloudy. This can be permanently treated by a quick laser procedure in OPD.

Myth: Safedmotia-bind and kalamoti -bind are related to each other .

Fact: These two conditions are not related to each other. Safedmotiabind is Cataract-cloudiness or opacity in lens of the eye and causes blurring of vision or glare. The treatment is surgery and vision can be fully restored if retina is healthy. Kala motiabind is Glaucoma wherein the eye pressures become high and slowly damage the optic nerve. For many years patient would not know as the vision decreases slowly from periphery of vision. If detected late, the damage to the optic nerve is irreversible and hence early detection is must. The treatment for glaucoma is eithermedical-eye drops, laser or surgery to keep the eye pressure under control.