Cloudiness and loss of lens crystalline transparency require urgent treatment to the doctor.
Cataract - an eye disease caused by cloudiness of the lens. In cataract, the patient sees the world as blurred, as if through a jet of water - hence the name of the disease that comes from the Greek word "waterfall".
Causes of the disease
The lens is a kind of lens, through which light rays, refracting, fall into the retina of the eye. A healthy lens is transparent and elastic, so that a person can quickly focus on a close or distant subject. In cataracts, the lens content is gradually misty due to denaturation (destruction of the structure) of the protein that is part of its composition. As the cataracts ripen, the crystals of the lens break down, dissolve, and it acquires a milky-white tint.
Cataract is innate and acquired. But most often this disease develops with age. Age (senile) cataract is to some extent practically all people over 80 years old. In 70% of cases, from the moment of onset of the disease to the critical stage, when operative surgical intervention is required, it takes 6-10 years.
Symptoms of the disease
Usually turbidity of the lens begins with its periphery. As long as it does not reach the central area of the lens, the patient may not even notice the disease: no pain or inconvenience a person feels. The closer to the center is the cloudiness of the lens, the more serious the problem with vision. When the central part of the lens clouds, short-neckiness may appear or increase, and photosensitivity increases.
In cataracts, the pupil, which is usually black, becomes grayish or yellowish in color. In later stages of the disease, it becomes completely white. The patient may complain of increased sensitivity and at the same time to see everything around dim, blurred, with fuzzy contours.
Diagnosis of the disease
Cataracts at a late stage can lead to secondary glaucoma and irreversible blindness because at the first sign of deterioration should contact an ophthalmologist. For the diagnosis of the disease is determined by sight, its severity, measured intraocular pressure (IOP), appointed by ultrasound and electrophysiological studies of the retina and optic nerve. Slit lamp is used to determine the degree of maturity of the cataract and cloudy lens.
Treatment of the disease
Cataracts can not be cured by drugs. Drops for the eyes and any other drugs only inhibit the development of the disease. To get rid of cataracts, a microsurgical operation is needed to replace the affected lens with an artificial lens. Do not wait until the cataract is ripening. Now doctors believe that the sooner to begin treatment, the more chances of a successful operation.
The idea of the operation is very simple: you must remove the "spoiled" lens, and place an artificial lens in its place. Nowadays, for this purpose, an extracapsular extraction of cataracts is carried out. In this case, the incision is made in width not more than 3,5 mm. Because it is broken and removed only the lens nucleus (ultrasonic phacoemulsification procedure) and the weight of the lens and capsular bag (shell lens) remains. There is placed a folded flexible and elastic artificial lens, which deals in capsular bag. The patient can go home immediately after surgery.