Cataract is the ancient Greek name for an eye disease that means a waterfall. It is how people in the distant past perceived this eye condition. It seemed to them that the veil of water was obscuring the eyes, and for this reason, a person practically could not see anything. Of course, water is not the cause of a cataract.
The mechanism of protein denaturation is at the bottom of it. Let us take a closer look at this process. The crystalline lens is the transparent lens of the eye, consisting of protein and water. For several reasons, the protein becomes opaque, and a cataract develops.
The crystalline lens inside the eye becomes opaque and loses its properties; respectively, it transmits light not so well, and images may become distorted, or color perception may change.
- The quality of vision deteriorates.
- Visual capabilities decrease, especially in bright light, since the pupil narrows and even slight opacities worsen the image quality.
- Difficulty seeing objects up close and performing usual activities, such as reading.
- Distance vision worsens, and it becomes harder to drive a car.
- A person's perception of the color of an object changes.
- Sometimes, the number of visible objects may increase. For example, a patient looks at a shiny moon and sees not one spot but ten. Such cases were described by medical practitioners.
But, of course, eyesight deterioration is the most common complaint. And it cannot be corrected with glasses, either for far or for near.
It should be noted that all the above-mentioned symptoms of the disease are characteristic of the initial stage, and often they do not manifest themselves much. A person’s eyesight becomes poorer or begins to improve suddenly and then deteriorates again. As a result of such changes in visual capabilities, people do not hurry up to see a doctor and often come for an examination already having an advanced stage of a cataract. And this is a very sorry sight because a patient becomes almost blind, and the pupil itself has a white, gray, or yellowish color.
There are no specific guidelines for diagnosing the disease. However, there is one universal advice that all ophthalmologists give—to undergo once a year vision diagnostics for all patients over 40 years of age.
A cataract can be detected during a routine checkup with a dilated pupil using a biomicroscope. When conducting such an examination, an ophthalmologist will easily notice the slightest opacity in the crystalline lens.
Today, the only effective way to treat cataracts is surgical, by phacoemulsification. Unfortunately, many years of attempts to cure the disease using eye drops, light radiation, electromagnetic waves have not yielded a positive result. Because they have not yet invented how to turn an opaque protein (in fact, a boiled egg) into a transparent one. This is unrealistic at the moment.
The modern method of cataract surgery known as phacoemulsification that uses ultrasonic vibrations dates back to the 1970s. It was created by an American scientist, Charles Kelman.
The main phases of cataract surgery, including the implantation of an artificial crystalline lens, are:
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia, is painless and bloodless, and does not require stitches since the incisions are self-sealing. This surgical procedure lasts from 2 to 15 minutes, depending on how advanced the disease is and other related factors.
At the Eximer Ophthalmological Center, it is possible to do a cataract treatment using femtotechnologies. This is a modern technique where the femtolaser performs certain surgery phases with unprecedented precision and speed. Thanks to it, the healing and recovery process occurs quickly, and the risk of complications after the surgery is minimized.
Cataract treatment cannot be delayed. If you do not get rid of the disease in time, secondary glaucoma may develop, which is fraught with the loss of vision. So, take care of your eyes. Do not waste time and contact specialists who can give the correct diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment.
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