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A cataract is one of the most common problems affecting your vision later in life. It is a cloudiness that develops on the lens located behind the iris and pupil. When proteins in the eye form a clump, the lens becomes cloudy, blocking the images that form on the retina. The retina sends signals to the optic nerve and the brain, creating a clear image of everything. Cataracts usually do not block your vision initially but gradually blur your vision. There comes a time when the cataract starts worsening and hinders your daily activities. It affects both eyes but not simultaneously.
What is Cataract?
Like a camera, the eye’seye’s lens focuses light rays and helps us form a clear and sharp image of the world.
In a healthy eye, the lens is transparent and allows light to be focused onto a precise point on the retina—the light-sensitive tissue or “film” at the back of the eye.
Here, light is converted into electrochemical impulses and sent along the optic nerve to the brain, where the images are combined, consolidated, and, thankfully, flipped right side up.
The eye’seye’s lens comprises mostly water and proteins, arranged precisely to keep the lens strong but clear. As we age – and our bodies react to conditions such as our health and environment – this balance is disrupted, causing proteins to break down and merge to form “cloudiness” in the lens.
We call the cloudy lens a cataract. The likelihood of cataracts increases as we get older and usually occurs in people in their late sixties and early seventies. However, they may appear earlier. Congenital cataracts can form at childbearing, secondary cataracts can be induced by certain health situations, and traumatic cataracts can form due to injury.
A common feature of cataracts, often seen in one or both eyes, is their yellow/brown appearance and the subsequent color they add to your vision. They can also cause vision to become dull and blurred, gradually worsening over time as they “grow” and block more light from entering the eye.
Other symptoms of cataracts include:
- Glare and halos (especially at night).
- Trouble seeing colors.
- Changes in your eyeglass prescription.
- Difficulty reading in low light.
Some medical studies have identified factors related to cataracts in the later stages of life. Some factors include:
- Ultraviolet rays
- High blood pressure
- Overuse of corticosteroid drugs
- Eye injury
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Heavy drinking
- Family history
Major signs of Cataracts
Early diagnosis of cataracts can save you from poor vision. Thus, it is important to understand the most notable signs caused by cataracts. The main symptoms of cataracts are:
- Blurry and hazy vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Sensitivity in the eyes due to bright light
- Difficulty reading in dim light
- See dullness and yellowness in colors
- Double vision in one eye
Can you cure cataracts?
Cataract surgery, which is a procedure to remove the natural (cloudy) lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens, is the only way to treat cataracts.
This process is simpler than it may first seem. The surgeon makes a very small incision at the edge of the cornea, removes the cloudy lens, and inserts a new artificial lens in the same position.
Although it is the only treatment method, cataract surgery differs in every clinic. The success of surgery depends largely on several factors: the surgeon’s expertise and the techniques at their disposal.
Can cataracts be cured after Smile surgery?
The evidence suggests no difference for the surgeon operating on the eye undergoing Smile compared to any other corneal laser refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK.
SMILE is a reliable method for treating residual refraction after cataract surgery, as it provides results in the shortest possible time without complications and enhances patient satisfaction. Also, it is an effective procedure that improves the patient’s distance vision.
This treatment method should be implemented in the future, followed by further investigation of residual refractive error, visual outcomes, and satisfaction of patients from different geographic regions, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses. In conclusion, the SMILE technique is a safe and effective treatment modality for pseudophakic myopic fractures to improve visual outcomes and satisfaction of patients after cataract surgery. This surgical technique does not need glasses, and improved vision in a short period leads to increased patient satisfaction.