CATARACT (CLOUDING OF THE EYE'S NATURAL LENS)

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Text author: Dr sc. Bojan Kozomara, dr med.

WHAT IS CLOUDING OF THE EYE'S NATURAL LENS - CATARACT?

Some refer to this condition as “clouding of the eye’s natural lens”, and others as cataracts, but what is certain is that it represents partial or complete clouding of the naturally transparent lens of the eye, which enables us to create a clear image of objects we see at all distances.

Cataracts are considered one of the most common eye conditions in individuals over 70 years of age. However, lens clouding can occur at any age and may even be congenital.

A comprehensive eye examination, including pupil dilation and examination of the eye’s fundus, can indicate the presence of cataracts in one or both eyes.

And this diagnosis is not a reason for discouragement because there is a solution.

katarakta, dr kozomara, oftalmolog

HOW IS CATARACT TREATED?

Despite the once heavy and risky procedures to address this eye problem, technological advances have enabled cataract surgery to be successfully performed today, with excellent vision restored to the patient the day after surgery.

And cataract surgery is precisely the most commonly performed eye surgery worldwide.

The entire procedure is performed under topical anesthesia (anesthesia with eye drops), where the cloudy natural lens is removed through a small opening in the eye’s cornea and replaced with an artificial one, allowing vision to return to the operated eye. The corneal incision heals on its own, and no sutures are needed.

The patient leaves the hospital immediately after the operation, and the postoperative course lasts up to 5 days. Antibiotic eye drops are used as therapy, and it is advised to avoid smoke, wind, dust, and heavy lifting.

Depending on the type of lens to be implanted, the patient can expect to see either at a distance without glasses or both at a distance and close up without glasses.

There is no other treatment or remedy for cataracts other than surgery. Most importantly, cataracts cannot lead to permanent vision loss; vision is restored after the cloudy natural lens is removed (provided there are no other eye conditions).

After excess skin is removed, the incision is closed with sutures that can be self-absorbing and do not need to be removed after surgery, or with sutures that are not self-absorbing and must be removed 7-10 days after the procedure.

During the postoperative period, which usually lasts about 7 days, the patient is advised to apply cold compresses to the eyelids several times a day (usually with ice) and to rest more during the first two days after the procedure, avoiding strenuous physical exertion.

Postoperative check-ups are often unnecessary.

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