The eye is like a camera. The natural lens of the eye lies immediately behind the pupil. It focuses incoming light on the retina, located at the back of the eye. It also acts like a regulator for the eye and lets us see things which are both far away and close.
The lens is composed of some protein and water. When we age, this protein content may form small lumps and cloud the lens. This is known as cataract and with time, the clouding can become larger and cause more construction in our line of vision.
Cataract starts in the most innuous way. You might not even notice its existence, except perhaps a slight blurring of vision. Sunlight or any bright light might seem too glaring. Cataract once detected, does not immediately require surgical intervention for its removal. The doctor may suggest some enhanced aids for visual assistance, like more powerful bifocals, magnifying glasses or adequate lighting for your convenience. Cataract surgery becomes imminent when the disorder has progressed significantly and is causing serious problems with your vision.
There are many who believe that cataract is a normal phenomenon associated with aging – but cataract surgery is very common and an otherwise simple and painless way to get back your normal vision. It is also one of the most frequently-performed eye surgeries in the United States, with over 1.5 million procedures done annually. Ninety percent of the people who have undergone cataract surgery get back their vision.
Since cataract is caused by a cloudy vision, the objective of a cataract surgery is to remove the cloudy lens and replace the same with an artificial lens, which is made of silicone or plastic. These lenses are called intraocular lens or IOL. There has been significant research and developments in the field of IOL manufacture and today, thanks to the state-of-the art IOL available, cataract surgery has become easier for the surgeon and convenient for the patient. The different types of IOL available are the presbyopia correcting IOL which enables you to see things which are located at varying distances. Another type of IOL creates a barrier for ultraviolet and blue light, which according to research, damages the retina.
During cataract surgery the natural lens of the eye can be replaced with a permanent IOL implant. The surgery involves breaking up the cloudy lens, or cataract, using the process of ultrasound. The process is called phacoemulsification, where the cloudy lens, after being broken down, is suctioned out of the eye. In another process called phacofracture, the broken-down cloudy lens is taken out of the eye through a small ut made in the eye.