WHAT IS IT AND HOW IS IT TREATED
A CATARACT is when the natural lens in our eyes, contained between the iris and the vitreous body, becomes opaque.
There are various types of cataract, all are due to changes in the chemical composition of the lens (oxidation of lens proteins, primarily), which reduces its transparency. There can be many causes for these alterations: usually it’s aging.
The cataract is diagnosed using specific instruments. It is usual to undergo a full regular ophthalmology visit for diagnosis.
The only treatment is surgical removal. Today in advanced countries, it generally involves the technique known as phacoemulsification, which fragments the lens using ultrasound. The fragments are then removed. A small artificial lens is then implanted. The procedure takes place under local or topical anaesthesia.
A femtosecond laser can also be used to perform even more precise incisions in the cornea to fragment the lens with less trauma (using less ultrasound), and also cut the capsule that contains it more accurately.
Thanks to constant technological progress it is now possible to use intraocular lenses (IOL) that differ in terms of shape, material and size, and with different optical power, to allow maximum adaptability for correcting a greater variety of sight defects and eye structures.
The choice of the most suitable IOL to implant is important for the success of the cataract procedure.
Therefore, the specialist, following a thorough consultation and preoperative exam, will decide whether the patient is a good candidate for the intervention and the best IOL for an optimal result. In cases with the appropriate optical conditions, this can even lead to not needing to wear glasses.