Cataract Operation | 3 Kinds of Cataract Operations
Cataract is one of the most common and dreaded eye diseases, as it is one of the leading causes of blindness. The eye, as everybody knows, needs to be able to properly process light through a number of layers that will then be processed as images in the brain. Cataract is a protein build-up in the eye that impedes vision – or rather, prevents light from clearly passing through. To put it differently, the old lens cells are compacted in the center of the lens by the new cells that grow outside of it, which ultimately leads to a cataract. A cataract operation is the best treatment for this vision-impairing disease.
Types of Cataracts
The name says it all. It’s a type of cataract that is formed due to old age. This is the most common cataract, as most people who do not take care of their eyes are prone to this.
Some people are born with a cataract that is caused by poor eye development, while still inside the womb, from infection, or through injury. In some cases, this develops during childhood.
Secondary cataracts are acquired from other sources, such as excessive exposure to ultraviolet(UV) light, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. Also, alcohol and drugs increase the probability of getting it. It can also be caused from certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, inflammation, etc.
This type of cataract is formed due to eye injuries or eye surgeries.
A cataract operation comes in three different kinds: phacoemulsification, extracapsular, and intracapsular, each treatment ranging from mildest to most serious respectively.
This procedure requires only a small incision in the surface of the eye either in or near the cornea, where a thin ultrasound probe will then be inserted to dissolve the clouded lens. After it’s dissolved into tiny pieces, the same probe will be used to suck the pieces out. When it’s free of fragments of the cataract, an artificial lens will then be inserted in the same capsular bag that the cataract previously occupied. Usually, this operation is done within thirty minutes with little to no sedation and numbing agent, and it won’t require any eye patches and post-surgery stitches.
This procedure is only used when the cataract is too advanced and compact to phacoemulsify – or rather, dissolve into small fragments. Numbing agents are necessary during the operation, as the pain may be too much to handle for the patient. A bigger incision will be done in the eye, so that the cataract can be taken out as a whole. Next, an artificial lens will be inserted (the same process in phacoemulsification) is done. After this cataract operation, however, the patient will usually be required to wear an eye patch. Normal vision also takes comparatively longer time to recover.
This cataract operation is rarely used today, unless the patient suffers from dire traumatic cataract. An even bigger incision will be necessary to do this properly, so that the entire lens and surrounding capsule can be taken out all together. The intraocular lens will then have to be placed in front of the iris.
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