A cataract is a clouding of the normal lens of the eye which is
under normal circumstances a clear and translucent structure. It
is not a "skin" or "film" growing over the outside
of the eye. It is a fogging of the lens much like looking through
a frosted window. There are various types of cataracts but the effect
is the same. It affects the clarity of the vision and thus impairs
the sight. Most cataracts are caused by a change in the chemical
composition of the lens with ageing, certain diseases like Diabetes
Mellitus, eye injuries, congenital and hereditary factors. Both
adults and children can develop cataracts. In children it is called
a congenital cataract and may be caused by hereditary or inflammation
during the foetal development. Congenital cataracts are an emergency
and such patients should be referred to an ophthalmologist as soon
as possible. Cataracts normally develop gradually over years and
often patients are not immediately aware of it. Symptoms related
to cataracts are blurred or double vision, glare, impaired eyesight,
colour vision changes and often worsening in the refractive errors
eg in nuclear cataracts the patient can become very shortsighted.
Is best made by an ophthalmologist and is often best viewed
with a slitlamp. Sometimes the cataract can be viewed through
the normal black pupil- it becomes white or yellowish.
Spokelike opacities (senile cortical cataract)
Triangular opacities with the apex pointing toward the lens center.
The gray-white opacities resemble the spokes of a wheel. Between
them water clefts(78 year old man).
Senile nuclear cataract(cataracta brunescence)
Dense, diffuse opacification of the brown-red lens nucleus. A
few fine stripelike opacities of the cortex (70-year-old woman).
Cataracts are normally removed by surgery in a sterile theatre
complex on a day clinic basis. It is performed mainly under local
anesthetic. The cataract is not removed by Laser. It is removed
by Phace-emulsification through a very small opening in the eye.
A foldable lens is then implanted. Cataract surgery is highly
successful but complications during or after surgery can occur
although today it is very rare. Please feel free to consult with
me about this during your visit.