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.

  • BEHAVIOR AFTER THE OPERATION

    Contact us immediately if you experience pain or sudden redness. The same applies if your vision suddenly deteriorates instead of improving, if you notice a shadow or if lightning occurs.

    Mild itchiness or the sensation of a foreign object in the operated eye is normal in the first two days. Double vision and increased glare is also normal in the first days. This should improve after a few days.

    No bandage is necessary during the day. You can protect the eye as you wish with glasses or sunglasses.

    At night, the eye is protected for a week with a plastic cup which we provide and which you apply yourself.
    You will receive a treatment of drops and/or ointment to be used for several weeks and administered according to the instructions provided.

    Permitted:

    • Showering and hair washing (protect the operated eye)
    • No soap or shampoo should enter the operated eye
    • Light work, general activities of daily life
    • Bending, light gymnastics, lifting of loads up to 15 kg
    • If going outside, protect your eyes with sunglasses in the sun
    • Television, reading and writing can still be a bit strenuous, so do not overdo it

     
    Strictly Prohibited:

    • Rubbing and/or pressing the eye
    • Lifting loads over 15 kg in the first two weeks
    • Working in the garden or stable during the first two weeks
    • Sports in the first 4 weeks, including swimming
    • Driving deemed permissible by the treating ophthalmologist. Often new lenses are required prior to.

     

    The follow-up appointment shall be carried out as scheduled. It is typical that controls are performed 1 to 2 days after the operation, after one week and after one month. These examinations can be carried out by the referring ophthalmologist.

    After the operation, the old glasses will no longer fit. Fitting new glasses only makes sense 4 to 6 weeks after the operation. The time in between can be bridged with temporary inexpensive glasses.