What is cataract?
Cataract is clouding of the natural lens, which initially leads to blurring of vision and later to blindness.
How is cataract treated?
Cataract is removed surgically and an artificial lens called intraocular lens (IOL) is immediately placed at the same place.
Will I have to wear glasses if I get intraocular lenses implanted when I get my cataract operated?
Earlier, before intraocular lenses were available, people ended up with a +10 glass for distance and a +13 glass for reading. These days with intraocular lenses the power required is nominal and the debilitating distortions of the very high numbers is a thing of the past. The newer multifocal intraocular lenses have further reduced the dependence on glasses to almost zero. The accuracy of the newer instruments like IOL Master from Zeiss (Germany) and Verion from Alcon (a division of Novartis) to measure and calculate the intraocular lens power to be implanted has further brought down the number of glasses required after cataract surgery.
What are the newer types of intraocular lenses available?
Aberration free lenses give a distortion free image. For people with cylindrical numbers, toric lenses reduce the cylindrical number Multifocal lenses have multiple rings which focus at different distances thus reducing the need for glasses for near, distance and intermediate distances. Multifocal lenses reduce the dependence on glasses. The latest lenses available now are a combination of toric and multifocal lenses for people who have cylindrical numbers and do not wish to wear glasses.
What is phacoemulsification?
The conventional technique for cataract removal is called phacoemulsification. This technique uses a machine to break up the lens by ultrasound energy and wash out the pieces through a very small incision. We have two very sophisticated phacoemulsification machines called Centurion and Infinity to do just that. The Intraocular lens is folded and injected into the eye through the small incision. It unfolds once it is in the eye. The extremely small (2.2 mm) incision allows the surgery to be completed without sutures and the recovery is extremely fast.
What is the latest technique available worldwide to remove cataract?
The latest and the very best, almost futuristic technology available today is LASER ASSISTED CATARACT SURGERY. This technology uses a laser to break up the cataract, make openings in the cataract and to make the incisions even before taking the patient into the phacoemulsification operation. We use a machine called LenSx from Alcon (division of Novartis).