What is Cataract (Chitta Motia)?
Cataract commonly called as Chitta Motia in vernacular, is a clouding of the clear natural crystalline lens in
the eyes. This is a normal outcome of the aging process but may
also result out of trauma to the eye, heredity or diabetes. It
is because of heredity that one sees infantile cataracts in some
Just as a dirty camera lens can spoil a picture, a cataract can
prevent light from focusing clearly inside the eye. Cataract develop
in almost everyone sooner or later. About one half of all people
between the age of 52 and 64 have a cataract. Factors other than
aging may cause cataracts as well. Cataracts sometimes occur relatively
early in life due to such factors as injury, excessive sunlight,
toxic chemicals, changes in the body's metabolism, or drugs.
Symptoms of cataract
Whatever the cause, cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy
vision and sensitivity to light.
How cataracts affect your lifestyle?
People with cataracts, even when wearing glasses, typically have
difficulty : Seeing in the distance or reading Distinguishing
road signs at dusk Recognizing colours Recognizing friends and
family at a distance driving at night. Cataract can be diagnosed
only by a thorough eye examination. An eye care practitioner must
determine whether a cataract or other eye disorder may be affecting
a patient's vision.
Treatment of cataract
The decision to treat a cataract is reached by the eye care practioner
and the patient together. This decision is based on the degree
to which the cataract is impairing vision and the effect of the
impairment on the patient's quality of life. Today's cataract
surgery is a marvel of medical technology. Often, it is performed
as an outpatient procedure, under local anesthesia. In most cases,
the incision is so small that the eye heals rapidly with little
or no discomfort. In the surgical procedure, the clouded natural
lens is removed, leaving behind the lens capsule. Next, a man-made
lens is inserted into the lens capsule of the eye. The man-made
lens is called an Intraocular lens, or IOL for short. The proven
procedure offering maximum benefits to patients is to undergo
phacoemulsification surgery and to get a foldable lens implanted.
The only treatment
for cataract is surgical intervention through which the cloudy
natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.
A cataract can be operated at any stage. In India, there is a
myth that cataract’s should only be operated when “mature”. This
may actually lead to complications.
Cataract surgeries are microsurgeries and are broadly categorized
Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE): This involves
removing the cloudy lens in one piece leading to a large incision
of 10 to 12 mm on the eye. Through this incision, the artificial
lens is also implanted and then the cut is sutured.
Phacoemulsification (Phaco): This is the latest advance
in cataract removal wherein a small ultrasonic probe is inserted
into the eye through a cut of 3.2mm or less. This probe breaks
(emulsifies) the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently sucks
these out of the eye. The surgeon then implants the replacement
lens through this cut.
There are two kinds of lenses used in
Choices of IOL's available
Basically, there are two different types of IOL's: Rigid & Foldable
Among the foldable IOLs there are 2 options available :
Monofocal IOLs are designed to provide good vision at one
distance- usually far- so most people need glasses after surgery
for close-up activities like reading or craft.
The other choice is the Multifocal IOL, which offers proven
benefits for today's cataract patients. It is designed to provide
good distance vision, intermediate vision, and near vision. Compared
with monofocal IOls, Multifocal IOl can reduce the need for glasses
in activities like reading, viewing text on a computer screen,
or watching a movie.
lenses are made up of PMMA, a hard plastic material, Foldable
lenses are either made of acrylic or silicone. The advantage of
a foldable over a non-foldable lens is that the incision is very
small and consequently the recovery period is much faster. Whichever
the lens used, cataract surgery is a small procedure wherein the
patient is discharged after a couple of hours and can safely go
back home the same day.
Post surgery, in certain patients, a very thin film develops over
the artificial lens. The treatment is a painless 10 minutes OPD
procedure wherein the doctor cuts away this film through a process
using a Laser.