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What is cataract?

This disease of the eye is mostly caused by ageing, but nobody has been able to explain its source. Luckily, today it can be successfully treated. 

Cataract is an eye disease which is caused by clouding of the lens.  The clouding causes a decreased transparency and obstructs the rays of light to reach the retina, so the vision is dim, as covered by a grey veil. At first the cataract doesn´t have to affect the vision in any way. The clouding expands, vision deteriorates and the person may even lose his sight. Person suffering from cataract doesn´t feel any strange sensation in the eyes, pain or other problems. Only an extensive cataract is visible. 

 

Cataract develops mainly in connection with ageing. It is a natural process of ageing of a human´s eye – eye lens. Most frequently it appears after the age of 65, but it can appear as late as in 80s. Sources state that after the age of 75, more than 75% of population suffers from this disease.

The real cause of cataract is unknown. But it is sure that the cataract is accelerated by bigger refractive (dioptric) defects of some diseases (for example diabetes) or inflammations or injuries of the eye. Besides age, the hereditary disposition, gender (more often women), race (black people), taking some medicine (corticoids, cytostatic etc.), long-term use of certain eye drops and metabolic and system diseases also play an important role. The negative development of cataract is also influenced by an unhealthy lifestyle – mostly smoking, drugs, unhealthy diet and excessive effect of infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Cataract can affect one or both eyes.

 

Symptoms of cataract

Symptoms of a cataract are clouding of the lens, that causes unpleasant, but not painful sensation   - deterioration of the eye sharpness, obscured vision, sensitivity to light, double vision, distorting of the observed image or increasing shortsightedness. A change in color perception is also frequent – the colors have a different intensity when looking through a defective eye. The clouding of the lens is expanding over the time, but the speed is individual – it takes months even years – and it can lead to a complete blindness. But this happens only in developing countries. In Slovakia, cataract is surgically removed much sooner, before it can cause blindness. The right timing of the operation tailors the patient´s problems, his impaired vision or medical finding the doctor found during an eye examination.  

 

 How the cataract is treated

Cataract cannot be treated with any medicaments or glasses. The only possible solution is an operation, where the clouded eye lens is removed with the use of an ultrasound or the latest –with a laser, and is replaced with an artificial lens. An artificial intraocular lens remains in the eye for good – it is not necessary to exchange it during life. It perfectly substitutes dioptric strength  of the original lens, so by choosing the appropriate lens we can get rid of shortsightedness and also farsightedness. The patient can also choose a multifocal lens that improves vision for all distances. The operation is ambulatory and is painless and delicate.

During the operation at our clinic we will implant you a yellow intraocular lens. It is gentle to the eye and has very good optical characteristics and besides that thanks to its yellow filter it limits the penetration of the harmful blue part of the light spectrum into the eye, thus protecting the retina.

Our clinic is equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, and you can undergo a cataract surgery with a femtosecond laser LenSx. This enables us to perform the surgery completely without any sharp instruments. Every step of the machine is led and controlled by a computer, as well as the individual cuts. Computer control gives the operators the possibility to completely “open“ the capsule of the original lens and so create the desired space for a precise placement of the intraocular lens – and during the operation correct even astigmatism. Cataract operation with a femtosecond laser is the biggest contribution to eye surgery in the last 20 years – it brings patients comfort, maximal accuracy and fineness.