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Cataract is the blurring of the normally transparent crystalline lens of the eye caused mainly due to the normal aging process of the patient. People who have cataracts are like looking through a dirty window. Blurred vision caused by the cataract can make it difficult to read, to drive a car (especially at night) and generally create problems to the patient's daily routine.
Often the cataract progresses slowly and does not affect vision from the beginning. However, over time as the cataract progresses, vision will eventually decrease.
In the early stages, stronger lighting and the use of glasses can help patients cope with the reduced vision caused by the cataract. However, when this condition reaches a point where it affects patient's normal daily activities, cataract surgery may be needed, which is generally a safe and effective procedure.
Symptoms of cataracts may include:
Initially, blurred vision caused by cataracts can only affect a small part of the crystalline lens and is not noticeable. However, as the cataract progresses, it blurs the lens more, and eventually distorts the light, making the above symptoms more obvious.
Most cataracts progress normally due to aging of the crystalline lens of the eye. Some inherited genetic disorders can cause other health problems with increased risk of cataract. Cataracts can appear in other eye conditions like previous eye surgery or health issues such as diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Also, long-term use of steroid drugs (cortisone) can cause cataract.
In general, the causes can be summarized as follows:
Most age-related cataracts are progressing gradually. Doctors cannot predict how fast the cataract will progress.
The light passing through the crystalline lens of the eye focuses on the retina, producing crystal clear images.
As we grow older, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Age-related factors and some medical conditions make small areas inside the lens to become opaque as the cataract continues. The first changes are noticeable from the age of 40-50y.o.
The cataract disturbs the light as it passes through the crystalline lens. This prevents light to reach the retina properly in order to form a clear image and results in reduced and blurred vision.
Generally, cataract progresses in both eyes, but not evenly. The cataract in one eye can be more advanced than the other eye.
The cataract can be divided into four (4) main categories:
However, over time, as the condition progresses, it gradually becomes denser and further blurs your vision
Finally, there is the so-called secondary cataract which is the blurring of the posterior surface of the lens and results in gradual decrease in vision. The secondary cataract does not require surgery and can be treated in the doctor's office using the appropriate equipment (YAG laser).
Some risk factors can accelerate the progression of cataracts, such as:
To diagnose cataracts, the ophthalmologist will examine the patient's medical and family history and will perform a complete ophthalmological examination. Measurements and tests to diagnose cataracts include:
When the cataract progresses enough and the vision cannot be corrected with glasses, then the only solution is cataract surgery.
The method used in recent years is called phacoemulsification and is done with ultrasound. With this method the cataract lens is emulsified and aspirated with special equipment. Then it is replaced by a small artificial lens, the intraocular lens, which provides clear vision with very good results. The method is short, painless and is performed under local anesthesia (anesthetic drops).
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The Emmetropia Eye Clinic is the first private refractive center to obtain ISO 9001 quality certification that ensures the continuous quality of our health services.
At Emmetropia Ophthalmology Clinic, we are investing in new technology to ensure that all measurements, examinations, and of course treatments are performed accurately.
Our medical staff will inform you and advise you in detail on the best possible solution. In our clinic there is a special section for glasses and contact lenses.
The state-of-the-art technology for performing cataract surgery with the latest generation of Bausch & Lomb(USA), StellarisPC ™ platform, the Leica M844 F40 high-resolution surgical microscope and Zeiss's excellent IOL Master guarantees the precision of our procedures.