Ophthalmic advices:Cataract

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Cataract in an eye with dilated pupil

The cataract is a lens opacification. The lens is a natural lens through which light rays pass to end projecting into the retina and permit viewing. The lens is also able to focus on objects at different distances, this ability is lost over the years and the farsightedness appears.

The lens must be transparent to provide an unobstructed view and producing clear, sharp images. Over time it loses its transparency and like a dirty filter can show less through and goes progressively losing vision. Cataract is the leading cause of vision loss and fortunately can be operated with very good results.


The main cause of cataract is the aging of tissues. The lens is made ​​up of proteins that give the property to be transparent over the years degenerate proteins by oxidation and oxygenation, and loses its transparency. The same process can be facilitated by some diseases occur.

There is more risk aging, appear in varying degrees from 40 years to be a cause of eyestrain, for this reason it is important to make revisions. Sometimes it can occur earlier as a result of trauma, medications (like cortisone), myopia, ocular or systemic diseases (such as diabetes). In some cases, cataract appears at birth.


Discomfort related cataract with vision, the patient looks more blurry and less detailed. The patient may need to change lenses more often but without significant improvement. Vision may lose more at night making it difficult to drive or seeing halos around lights. Sometimes the patient complains that he piled the letters when reading or sometimes is like seeing double or distorted. The patient needs to have more light to do daily activities, since cataract covers her light and can see more subdued colors.

The cataract is growing progressively, in some cases the growth is fast and others slow. If growth is slow at times the patient does not notice vision loss until after surgery with improved then observed.

Cataract affects the quantity and quality of vision and especially the quality of life. Cataract is the leading cause of low vision and fortunately if an early diagnosis is made, it can operate and this situation can be prevented. A cataract is associated with limitations in daily activities such as reading, driving or walking and involves a high risk of falling.

It is important to visit the ophthalmologist at the slightest suspicion.


It is a complete eye examination recommending an examination under pupil dilation to assess the retina. In some cases to make a better assessment of the retina may be required a study of ultrasound, especially if the cataract is very large and you can not properly see the retina.


The treatment is surgical, it is not fixed with glasses or vitamins. The cataract surgery today, in skilled hands, is a brief, painless and fast recovery intervention with very good results.

The patient should be adequately assessed as not all cases require surgery. Surgery should be performed in accordance with the patient and the ophthalmologist, valuing the limitation posed by falls in the patient's life. Cataract is not an emergency in most cases but you have to consider an urgency in cases of narrow angle, large cataract glaucoma and other damages. Although current techniques and to have the best results we recommend surgery before the cataract is very large since there may be more risks, and recovery be slower. Not currently insists that the cataract "ripens" or is very large but the reverse before sustaining it with priority.

The ideal procedure in most cases is phacoemulsification, allowing cataract extraction through a micro-incision, using an ultrasound probe or laser to break up the cataract and then suck. One is placed intraocular lens in place of the lens to perform their optical characteristics, the type of lens will depend on the characteristics of each patient.