There is a transparent layer (lens) behind the colored part of our eye. Because this lens is transparent, we see the pupil as black. The lens enables the rays entering to the nerve layer, creating a clear image. For light to pass through the lens and reach the nerve layer, the lens must be clear (transparent). If this transparent lens becomes blurred for various reasons, it is called cataracts. This blur can be anywhere on the lens.
What Causes Cataracts?
The most important cause of cataracts in adults is changing that occur with aging inside the lens. In children, metabolic diseases, inbreeding, diseases had in the womb, drug use during pregnancy, microbial conditions, and injuries are effective. Also, eye strokes (trauma), diabetes, eye inflammation (uveitis), kidney disease, glaucoma, radiation, high blood pressure (hypertension), and use of cortisone medication for a long time can cause cataracts.
Can Cataracts be Treated with Medication?
A cataract does not have any form of treatment other than surgery. Although there are still some drugs being tested, no successful results have yet been reported. In other words, we can say that cataract treatment can only be done with surgery.
Painlessly increasing blurred vision
Decreased sensitivity to light
Frequent glasses number change
Frequent glass wiping need
Difficulties while driving
Decreased night vision and light dispersion
Need for strong light to read
Double vision with one eye
Fading or yellowing in colors
Are the main symptoms of cataracts.
In Which Cases Should Cataract Surgery be Performed?
Surgery is recommended if the patient faces any of the following conditions:
If the amount of vision does not meet the patient's daily needs
If a condition such as inflammation in the eye has created cataracts and disrupts treatment and follow-up
In cases that can lead to poor vision and gliding (strabismus) in congenital cataracts
What are cataract surgery methods?
Cataract operations have been performed for many years by a method called FAKO. It is a needle-free, seamless, and painless surgery. A small incision of 2.2-2.4 mm is made in the eye by numbing the patient's eye with a drop. In the operation, a round piece is peeled off from the front part of the membrane that surrounds the cataract lens first. Then, with the help of a device called FAKO, which works with ultrasonic sound waves, the cataract lens is broken into small pieces. Then again with the FAKO device, these small parts are absorbed and cleaned. An artificial intraocular lens suitable for the patient's eye is placed in a pocket consisting of a membrane that is completely cleaned inside. At the end of the operation, antibiotics are injected into the eye. Finally, the incision site is closed seamlessly.
Thanks to the use of laser, cataract operations can now be performed in a way that is much safer, comfortable and the risk of complications is minimized than the classic FAKO method.
In the laser method, the patient's eye is numbed by drops. First, the patient's eye, taken under the laser device, so that the patient does not feel it, thanks to the computer-controlled laser, the process of creating an incision, opening a window in the front capsule, and tearing the cataract lens apart (about 30-45 seconds) is performed. The patient is then taken under the operating microscope. Here, by entering through the incision created by the laser (without a knife), again, the lens parts destroyed by the laser are absorbed by the FAKO device and cleaned in a short time. An artificial intraocular lens is then inserted, antibiotics are injected into the eye, and the operation is terminated.
What Should be Done Before Cataract Surgery?
Before surgery, various examinations can be performed in cases deemed necessary depending on the patient's age, other diseases, medications used, and the type of surgery to be performed. Some medications can be administered orally, in the arm, or in the hip, before or after they are taken to the operating room.
You should not eat or drink anything at least 6 hours before surgery. Having a companion with you can be good for helping you. You will need to remove your makeup and jewelry. Because some drops will be dripped in your eye, your pupil may grow and redness in the eye may occur.
Is anesthesia performed during surgery?
In cataract surgery, general anesthesia is usually preferred for children. Another preference is to apply (local) anesthesia by a needle around the eye. Surgery is also possible by numbing the eye only with drops without needles (topical anesthesia). This anesthesia will be determined by the compliance of the patient.
Do you need post-operative care?
After surgery, the eye is usually closed with a bandage. This bandage should remain in the eye for as long as your doctor recommends. After surgery, you should not put pressure on the eye or rub it. The surgeon will inform you about your hospitalization which changes from patient to patient. Do not drive yourself if you are going to be discharged from the hospital. Washing your face, bathing, carrying things, doing sports, starting work, entering the sea and pool are the activities that you should consult your doctor. Drugs that will be given after surgery (drops, pomades, tablets, syrups, etc.) should be used as the doctor prescribed. Do not change, reduce, or stop taking your medications without consulting your doctor.