Cataract is transparency loss by the lens (eye optical lens), its partial or complete opacity. As a result of changes in the lens biochemical composition and disorder of its feeding, it becomes hard, opaque and the light cannot easily penetrate to the retina. Cataract is developing gradually and visual acuity decreases yet more.
The cataract main feature is decrement in visual acuity. In case of insignificant opacity at the periphery of the lens visual acuity does not change much. Opacity in the centre of the lens worsens vision noticeably. If opacity is total, a patient can only see the light and point to it. Sometimes blurring, image splitting and hypersensibility to the light appear. When cataract appears spectacles do not help. Eye pupils sometimes change their colour and become yellowish or white. Myopia development is an important sign of primary cataract of aged people.
In case of the minimal assumption of the cataract we recommend to see an ophthalmologist obligatory. First, the doctor will carry out a complete ophthalmologic examination: will check visual acuity, examine eyes using a slit lamp and define the type, form and place of the lens affection. Depending on that the doctor will suggest a necessary treatment.
Cataract can be cured by means of pharmacotherapy (conservative treatment) and surgical treatment.
The cataract conservative treatment is applied taking into account the reasons, which resulted in the lens opacity (age cataract, diabetes mellitus etc.). Using new data of changes in the lens chemical and biochemical composition and metabolism, pharmacotherapy of primary cataracts applies the drugs improving the lens feeding and metabolism. It is known, that pharmacotherapy of cataract does not contribute to clarification of lens opacity, that is why it is recommended only for primary cataracts and is aimed at prevention of the opacity progression.
Surgical treatment is the main and practically exclusive method of cataract treatment. Present-day methods involve the substitution of the opacity lens by the artificial one. Nowadays operation can be performed at any stage of the disease, before the final "cataract ripening", when a person fails eyesight almost entirely. Considerable decrement in visual acuity, which affects the life quality of a person, is a sufficient indication for the operation.
Phacoemulsification is one of the most safe and practically nontraumatic methods of cataract surgical treatment. Cataract is excised through a small (2,5-3 mm) incision. Then the intraocular flexible lens is implanted through the same incision. In this case stitches are not put and the incision closes up in as little as one day. This operation can be performed on an outpatient basis.