Cataratas

Cataract

The cataract is the loss of the transparency of the crystalline. The crystalline is a transparent lens that we have behind the pupil and serves to focus with clarity the objects. Because of several circumstances, illness or frequently because of the passage of years, the crystalline can lose its natural transparency and becomes an opaque lens. Therefore, a cataract will be more or less advanced depending if the diminution of transparency is greater or lower. The greater is the loss of transparency of the crystalline (or more advanced is the cataract) the greater it will be the diminution of the vision.

   
 Normal  Cataract


Causes


ˇ Advanced Age
ˇ Diabetes
ˇ Galactosemy
ˇ Exhibition to smoke, cigarettes, toxic substances
ˇ Congenital
ˇ Contact to pregnant with rubella or measles
ˇ Infections or Ocular Traumatisms
ˇ Familiar Tendency

The cataracts are a normal part of the ageing. The older the person is, the greater is the probability of apparition and progression of the cataract. However, there are occasions when the cataracts appears in early ages, above all in persons who suffer from specific illness such as diabetes, intraocular inflammations and high myopia among others. Also, cataracts can appear after an ocular traumatism or in some predisposed families. Almost three out of four old persons older than 75 years suffer from cataract, the majority of persons who have cataract, have this illness in both eyes. However, one of the eyes can be in worse condition than the other, because each of the cataracts develops with different speed.


Symptom

ˇ Loss of vision
ˇ Nuisances with intense light
ˇ Loss of tone of colour
ˇ Difficult to see in the evening
ˇ Look halos around the light
ˇ Be sensitive to the brightness
ˇ Cloudy vision, blurred, diffuse
ˇ Loss of the intensity of the colours
ˇ Frequent changes in the prescription of lens.
ˇ The brightness of the brilliant lights cause problems of vision in the evening, specially when driving
ˇ Sensibility to the brightness of lamps or sun
ˇ Halos around the lights
ˇ Double vision in one eye
ˇ Diminution of the sensibility to the contrast (the capacity to see shadows or forms against a bottom)

Normally the cataracts manifest by a slow and progressive diminution of vision, this appears cloudy, out of focus, or as you see trough a veil, and this does not improve changing the lens. This diminution of vision is often more marked in some environments of luminosity, for example in the darkness and with spotlight, when the person drives he has problems since the lights dazzle, or with intense solar light. Besides the tone of colours are lost.


Diagnosis


A regular exam of your vision is all the necessary to find the cataracts. Su ophthalmologist will ask you to read a diagram with letters to determine in what condition your sight is. Probably he will put drops in your eyes to widen pupils (the dark circles in the middle of your eyes). This allows your doctor to see inside of your eyes. Using a brilliant light, the doctor can see if the lens are transparent and he can look for other problems inside the eyes.

There are other exams that can be carried out occasionally to check how much the cataract affects your sight and have a reference to evaluate the improvement after an intervention of the cataract:

ˇ Exam of brilliant light
ˇ Exam of perception of contrast
ˇ Exam of potential vision
ˇ Microscopical exam of inspection photography.(Recount of the endothelial cells)
ˇ Topography corneal computarized
ˇ Ultrasonic Biometry (measurement of the intraocular lens)


Treatment

The treatment of the cataracts is fundamentally surgical. The operation of cataracts consists in the extraction of part of the crystalline which has opacity and its replacement by an artificial lens which is placed in the same place than the original crystalline (intraocular lens), restoring the vision that had been lost because of the cataract. The decision of operation of the cataracts belongs to the patient, for this reason the problem appears when we have to make the decision about when?. For this reason first we have to know if the loss of vision is caused by cataracts, since not all the diminution of the vision of a old person is produced by cataracts. Therefore the correct diagnosis by a ophthalmologist is fundamental.

When the diagnosis is sure we have to pose if the loss of the vision produced by the cataracts affects the quality of life of the person and this avoids to carry out normal activities. In this case is necessary to pose a surgical operation.

Nowadays we operate with the modern technique called FACO, anaesthesia in drops without cut or sutures without ointments or parches, without pain, intraocular plegagle lens (USA), in only 7 minutes and ambulatory After the second day you can start your work.
Situations That Require Medical Assistance
It is necessary to look for medical assistance if you have symptoms as an progressive deterioration of the vision, a diminution in the evening vision or problems with the brightness of the light. In the same way you should call the Ophthalmologist if you have familiar or congenital antecedents of cataracts or if a child have symptoms or signs that suggest the presence of a cataract.


Prevention

The best prevention consist in controlling the illness that increases the risk of a cataract and avoid the exposition to the known factors that promote its formation.

The use of sun lens during the day when you are outdoors can reduce the quantity of ultraviolet light that affects the eyes. Some sun lens does not filter the ultraviolet rays that are harmful, for this reason you should consult the oculist, about the kind of lens that filters the greater quantity of UV rays. Avoid smoking can reduce the risk of developing cataract in persons that smoke cigarettes.

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