Cataract

The term cataract is used to describe a clouding of the lens of the eye, which leads to limited vision and visual disturbances.

  • CAUSES
    We first examine the refraction and eye pressure with the so-called "auto-refractometer".

    This clouding is typical in the normal aging process of the lens, similar to wrinkles in the skin. Only rarely is it caused by medication, especially cortisone, or the result of general illnesses such as rheumatism or metabolic disorders. Without treatment, cataract leads to a far-reaching loss of function of the affected eye, which can go as far as blindness. There is no prevention or drug available.

    We first examine the refraction and eye pressure with the so-called “auto-refractometer”.

     

  • SYMPTOMS

    Cataracts usually develop slowly and painlessly. Indications of a cataract are: reduced vision, blurred vision (as if through slightly clouded glasses), increased sensitivity to glare and possibly double vision. Apart from the reduced vision, the cloudy lens does not cause any damage to the eye. This means that the time of treatment can be chosen by the patient according to the degree of suffering and visual impairment.

  • TREATMENT
    The artificial lenses are selected after consultation with the patient.

    The only therapeutic option for cataract is surgical replacement of the patient’s own cloudy lens with a clear artificial lens. It is a relatively short procedure, which is usually performed under local anesthesia. Based on preliminary examinations, the artificial lens is selected so that only weak lenses are needed after the operation. Of course, it is determined whether the objective of the patient is to focus at a distance or up close. However, the correction must also be chosen so that both eyes operate cohesively.

     

  • GENERAL PROBLEMS AND COMPLICATIONS

    The cataract operation is one of the safest operations on the eyes. Nevertheless, there may be problems during the operation. For example, the holding apparatus of the lens may not be stable enough to hold an artificial lens, or a small part of the lens may slip into the vitreous cavity, in which case the vitreous body must be removed. The risk of retinal detachment is also slightly increased after uncomplicated cataract surgery. Initially after surgery, there is often an increased sensitivity to glare. Though the measurement of the eyes is very precise and reliable, the strength of the glasses or lenses after surgery can only be predicted with limited accuracy. This is dependent upon the degree of clouding of the lens.

    In the first few days after the operation, corneal swelling or an increase in eye pressure may occur, and later swelling of the center of the retina (macular edema). This temporarily reduces visual acuity. After a certain time, clouding of the lens capsule may occur. This so-called after-cataract can be treated painlessly and without problems using a laser during a follow-up appointment.

    Bleeding, infection or other complications that can lead to a loss of vision or even loss of the eye are extremely rare (approx. 1:3,000) but are possible with every eye operation.

  • MEDICAL ASSESSMENT
    Phoropter

    The medical assessment and treatment of a cataract is carried out by our team on medical referral, preferably by your ophthalmologist, who can also provide follow-up care. After we have received a letter of referral, we offer the patient an outpatient examination.

    By means of the phoropter we can exactly determine the current visual acuity of the patient.

  • ON THE DAY OF SURGERY
    In our certified operation area we carry out the operation determined for the patient.

    You will be informed about the further procedure when you arrive at the agreed time. Before the operation, a consultation with the anesthetist will take place to identify possible risks. He will decide with you on the administration of a relaxing and sedative agent. In preparation for surgery, the eye to be operated on is administered with drops. These drugs dilate the pupil and anesthetize the eye making it numb to pain. You will remain clothed during the surgery procedure and be provided a protective covering required for sterility.

    Your caregiver will accompany you to the operating room, where you will be seated on a couch. The surgical team will assist you with the correct positioning. You will be covered with additional sterile drapes. Following this the area around your eyes will be disinfected. Afterward an eyelid retractor is inserted. This allowing the eye itself to be disinfected. The procedure under the operating microscope is performed as gently as possible. Through a small incision, the cloudy lens is liquefied and suctioned off, then the new artificial lens is inserted and positioned. Due to natural eye pressure, the incision usually closes by itself. The eye is disinfected again and bandaged.

    Post operation recovery will be approximately 2 hours. We will provide you with a small refreshment. If you feel well enough, the bandage will be removed, you will receive another drop and can leave the clinic. For the way home we strongly advise you to organize an escort or transport.

  • AFTER YOUR OPERATION

    Contact us if you experience pain or sudden redness. The same applies if your vision suddenly deteriorates or if you notice shadows or flashes.

    A scratchy feeling, tearing or a sensation of a foreign body in the operated eye is normal in the first two days. Double vision and increased glare is also possible. You may also experience double vision and see increased glares.

    A bandage is not necessary. You can protect the eye as you wish with glasses or sunglasses.

    The operated eye is treated for a few weeks with TobraDex eye drops:

    TobraDex Dosage (unless otherwise prescribed)
    Shake well before use, one drop in each operated eye at the approximately the following times:

    8 am
     12 am
    4 pm
    8 pm

     
    Your ophthalmologist will inform you when you can reduce dosage and when you can drive again at your follow-up examination.

    Permitted are:

    • Showering and hair washing, keeping the operated eye closed. No soap or shampoo should enter the operated eye.
    • Light work, general activities of daily life, bending, light gymnastics, lifting of loads up to 10kg.
    • Walking, in sunny weather you can protect your eyes with sunglasses.
    • Television, reading and writing as long as you feel comfortable.

     
    Prohibited:

    • Rubbing or pressing your eyes or squinting hard.
    • Lifting of loads over 10kg in the first week.
    • Working in the garden or stable during the first two weeks.
    • Weight training and swimming during the first two weeks.
    • Driving, until the permission is given by your treating ophthalmologist.

     
    Follow-up examinations take place as agreed. Usually appointments are made 1-3 days after the operation, after one week and one month. These and other necessary examinations can be performed by the referring ophthalmologist.

    Newly prescribed glasses usually only makes sense after 2-4 weeks after the operation. Temporary glasses can be used during this time.

    In case of emergency (also on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays) you can reach an ophthalmologist at our eye clinic at the following number:
    031 311 12 22