What is cataract?

Cataract is a phenomenon in which the lens of the eye appears cloudy or opaque. The lens is located behind the pupil, and it acts like a camera lens, helping the eye focus accurately and projecting the image onto the retina. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light cannot be completely transmitted, resulting in diminished vision and blurred vision. In severe cases, complications may occur, leading to blindness.

Causes of cataracts
There are many causes of cataracts, most commonly senile cataracts. Other causes include trauma to the eye, complications of eye diseases such as iritis or systemic diseases such as diabetes. In addition. incorrect use of steroid drugs can also cause cataracts.

Common symptoms

Cataract patients will experience diminished vision, and their sensitivity to luminosity and color will also decrease. Other symptoms such as increase of myopia, photophobia and monocular diplopia.

The treatment of cataract is to use surgery to remove the lens. Until now, there is no oral medication or other methods to treat or prevent cataract. The speed of vision loss caused by cataract varies from person to person. Some people have severe vision loss or complications in a short period of time and require surgery as soon as possible. In addition, if the cataract is not too dense, surgery is not required. The doctor will decide whether the patient needs surgery according to the patient’s vision and requirements for vision.
There was a saying that “cataracts can only be done when they are mature.” This is a complete misunderstanding. The more mature the cataract, the higher the risk of surgery. The most important thing is whether the cataract affects the patient’s daily life. If you become prone to fell, cut your hands when cutting vegetables, etc., what you could do before can’t be done or can’t do well now, patients and family members have to seriously think about whether it is time for surgery.

Cataract surgery
The current standard for cataract surgery is “Phacoemulsification”, which is usually done with local anesthetic eye drops without injections. The cataract is removed through a very small incision. Then a soft intraocular lens is implanted by injection through the same incision. The surgical wound can be reduced to 2.2 mm without stitching. It is regarded as “ultra-minimal invasive ultrasonic Phaco-emulsification”. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, and the success rate of cataract removal surgery can reach more than 95%.

Cataract surgery steps:

Cut the cornea

Open the lens capsule

Remove hardened lens fragments and clear lens capsule

Implantation of intraocular lens

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)
Ultrasonic phacoemulsification involves making an incision on the outside of the cornea with a scalpel to open the lens capsule, then ultrasonically crush the emulsified lens, suck out the fragments, and then implant the intraocular lens; and Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery refers to the use of lasers to make corneal incisions, open the lens capsule, and initially cut the lens. The “femtosecond laser” replaces traditional surgical knife.
The subsequent steps of “removing hardened lens fragments” and “removing lens capsules and nuclei” still need to be accompanied by ultrasonic phaco-emulsification. However, due to lower energy consumption, it does little damage to corneal endothelial cells and allows faster vision recovery. Phacoemulsification is already a safe and successful operation, but for those who want to be flawless and extremely accurate, femtosecond assisted laser cataract surgery is a good choice.

Intraocular lens

The current intraocular lens basically has the property of soft material, adjustable power, and anti-ultraviolet rays. Different IOLs lies in whether it has the function to correct presbyopia, astigmatism, or anti-blue light functions. The more functions the better, but the more expensive the IOL. However, the lens will function for the rest of your life . No matter which kind of intraocular lens is used, the surgical procedure is the same. In principle, it is best to choose a fully functional lens, and the visual effect will be improved significantly.

The following is the classification of common intraocular lenses:

  • Mono-focal spherical IOLs (standard white lens)
  • Mono-focal yellow aspheric IOLs
  • Mono-focal Toric aspheric IOLs
  • Multifocal aspheric IOLs
  • Multifocal Toric aspheric yellow IOLs
  • Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) IOLs
  • You must choose your IOLs carefully and discuss in detail with your doctor, which one is right for you.
  • Preparation before surgery
  • . Detail eye examination to determine the power of IOLs
  • . Keep eyelids clean to reduce the chance of inflammation after surgery
  • . Do not put on makeup on the day of surgery
  • . If you have medical diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc., or need long-term medication such as anticoagulants, aspirin etc., or long-term use of Chinese medicine or healthy food, please notify your doctor in advance.
  • . For personal hygiene, please take a bath and wash your hair the day before the operation
  • How to care your eye after surgery
  • . Normally follow up will be arranged 1 day , 1 week and 1 month after the surgery.
  • . You should rest after the operation. Do not remove the gauze or eye pad from the eye and avoid strenuous exercise.
  • . Do not rub your eyes, swimming is not suitable for a few weeks after the operation.
  • . Avoid washing your hair for the first week after surgery to prevent bacteria from getting into your eyes and causing infection.
  • Wash your eyes with warm or distilled water and sterile gauze daily for the first week after surgery
  • . Wear an eye shield every night for the first week after the operation.
  • . Sunglasses can be worn during the day if necessary.
  • . You may not get used to gauze in the early postoperative period. It is recommended to turn on the light when going to the bathroom at night to prevent falling.
  • . If the wound needs to be sutured during surgery, unless the suture is loose, broken, or too tight (astigmatism, inflammation or discomfort, etc.), the suture does not necessarily need to be removed.
  • . It is advisable to wear button/open-chested clothing and avoid clothing that goes through the head to prevent the clothing from touching the eyes and causing inflammation.
  • . If possible, drink plenty of water and eat more fruits and vegetables to avoid constipation. Do not use excessive force when going to the toilet.