Cataract

What is a Cataract?

A regular eye lens is normally clear, allowing light to pass from the front right to the back, creating an image for your brain to process. When the lens becomes cloudy and light cannot pass through, this causes blurred vision. This type of cloudiness is called a Cataract. Most types of cataracts develop slowly and usually only in the later stages of an individual's life and can impair regular activities such as reading, watching the TV and driving. Cataracts are a natural process of ageing that cannot be avoided or prevented with medication but there are procedures that can help remove Cataracts.

Types of Cataracts:

Cortical cataract - an opaque area on the outer edge of the lens
Nuclear cataract - clouding in the centre of the lens
Subcapsular cataract - an opaque area towards the back of the lens

Causes

The most common cause tends to be ageing due to clumping of proteins in the lens as they begin clouding a small area. Over time, Cataracts can grow bigger, causing more of the lens to become cloudier and making it harder to see. However, Cataracts can be caused by other factors such as:

Congenital Cataracts - when a baby is born or develops Cataracts in childhood
Radiation - causing Cataracts to develop after exposure to some types of radiation
Secondary Cataracts - After surgery for other eye related problems such as glaucoma, or from health issues like diabetes and as well as from certain types of medication
Traumatic Cataract - usually developing after eye injuries

 

Symptoms

The first sign tends to be blurred vision but the other symptoms can include:

-Colours appearing dull

-Difficulty driving at night

-Difficulty reading or watching television

-Double vision in one eye only

-Frequent changes of glasses or contact lenses

-Glare

-Halos around lights

-Poor vision in bright light

Treatment
When a patient's vision becomes impaired, surgery is usually the first option but that is not always the case with Cataracts. For certain individuals, simply changing their glasses or a magnifying glass can help improve their vision sufficiently. However, if surgery is necessary, Cataract surgery is usually performed as a day type surgery under local anaesthetic. Latest developments in medical technology has also allowed the industry to offer bladeless Cataract surgical options where the incisions required are made with laser, improving the overall accuracy and outcome of the operation.
Complications and Related Diseases
A Cataract surgery is usually safe and patients tend to heal well with good vision. However, infections can occur resulting in even poorer vision. Some warning signs include:
- Discharge from the eye
-Increasing pain and redness of the eye
-Sudden blurring of vision
-Swelling of the eye

Some other complications are more physical and related to retinal tearing, detachment, and bleeding.

If you notice any of these signs, you should see your eye doctor immediately.

Our Specialists

Dr. Sim Pek Eng
Specialty
Ophthalmology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Terrence Soong Kwong Weng
Specialty
Ophthalmology
Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Mona Ngui Soon Hung
Specialty
Ophthalmology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Sharon Paulraj
Specialty
Ophthalmology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Dayang Sayalam Binti Ag Daud
Specialty
Ophthalmology
Paediatrics
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu

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