A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelop, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. If not treated timely, it may degenerate into incapacity in viewing, that is blindness. Therefore, when you find you are a cataract patient, going for the doctor and undergoing a surgery is a wise decision. To treat cataract, the clouding lens should be removed and a new one should be implanted.
There are formerly two types of eye surgeries that can be used to remove cataract: extra-capsular and intra-capsular. The former one is to remove the cataractous lens and replace with a plastic one while the latter is to remove the lens but leave the majority of the lens capsule intact. Recently a technique called phacoemulsification is applied in the cataract surgery. One of the biggest advantages is that during the procedure, a minor incision will be created to break the clouded lens into small pieces. These pieces are emulsified and sucked out by same ultrasonic probe. A thin outer shell still covers the eyes after the pieces are sucked out. And foldable artificial lens which is made of silicone or acrylic is inserted. This is done by using a proprietary insertion device. This incision does not require stitches and seals by itself.
Usually, before a surgery starts, the doctor will ask the patients to choose proper lens that will be inserted. Monofocal lens is for distant vision assistance, and for close vision, the patients has to wear reading glasses. However, new technology brings about focal lenses and multi lenses that are able to hand distant, near and in between vision. That is to say, with those lenses implanted, the patients would get a clear vision again.
The whole procedure will be done with a local anaesthetic, so the patients would feel no pain, and they can go home in about two or three hours after the surgery. Phacoemulsification is now considered to be an ideal way to treat cataract.
There is another method of surgery called extracapsular surgery which is on its way out. In this method the incision would be 8 to 10 mm and requires stitches. And patients are prone to distortion of the curvature of the cornea, resulting in astigmatism.
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