How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?
Cataracts begin to develop when the lens inside the eye has started to become cloudy. This occurs due to aging. In some cases, younger people may also develop this condition due to other medical conditions. These include patients with diabetes or any other inflammatory conditions. Patients with previous history of trauma to the eye may also develop cataracts at a younger age.
Below are some signs that you may have a cataract:
- Cloudy vision
- Colours appear less rich as before
- Night vision problems such as glares and haloes
- Seeing a ‘film’ over the eye
- Blurred vision that is not able to be corrected by glasses
Patients may not notice the effects of cataracts during the initial stages as changes to vision are usually minimal. As the cataract progresses, patients may notice that their vision is gradually affected and might find it hard to complete their day-to-day tasks such as driving, cooking or reading. Once this occurs, you are advised to visit an eye specialist to get your eyes checked.
What treatments are available for cataracts?
The progression of cataracts may be slowed down by wearing sun protection such as sunglasses and hats, having a balanced diet and controlling systemic conditions such as diabetes. However, the only effective treatment available for cataracts is surgery. It is commonly misunderstood that a cataract should be “ripe” before it can be removed. Surgery may be advised once the doctor examines your eyes and patients find that impaired vision caused by the cataracts is interfering with their daily activities.
With advancements in technology, cataracts can now be treated via keyhole cataract surgery. A small incision is made and the cataract is broken down and removed via that small incision. An intraocular lens implant is then inserted. With the suitable lens implant, patients can achieve good satisfactory vision.
Post-operatively, patients are required to instill eyedrops to prevent infections and to allow quick recovery. They are also advised to return to see the surgeon for regular post op follow-ups.
Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedures performed today. It is safe, fast and reliable, and is also Medisave claimable.