Cataract is characterized by clouding of the natural lens of the eye; it is one of the most common causes of complete blindness in people of ages above 45. Different types of cataracts include; subcapsular, nuclear and cortical. All of these have different symptoms and require different treatments.
Brig. (R) Dr. Abdul Rafe is one of the top eye surgeons in Lahore. In his interview with oladoc, he discusses an important medical condition i.e Cataract. Also, he discusses the best treatments for this disease and the consequences of this problem if left untreated. He also shared some insights about the causes of weak eyesight in the young population nowadays.
Q.1: What are cataracts?
Cataracts are very common in Pakistan and even all over the world, it causes foggy eyesight and the natural lens of the eye gets covered by a foggy layer. This affects a patient’s ability to distinguish between colours, extra glare may appear around lights, driving becomes impossible especially during the night, reading and writing also cause strain on the eye.
The patient usually feels that no glasses suit the eye; cataracts are more common in people of older ages and very rarely occur in young people.
Q.2: What happens if cataracts are left untreated?
Treatment for cataracts is very simple but if it is unnecessarily delayed, it can cause complications. It can lead to the cataract becoming black and eventually leading to complete blindness. In case the cataract becomes too heavy, it can even fall in the eye and cause complications during the operation.
Delaying treatments also increase the chances of risk factors. Many patients are afraid of going through an operation and deal with it hesitantly, but it in their best interest to do so.
Q.3: Can cataract be cured without surgery?
Unfortunately not yet, the only treatment available is an operation which is very simple. The entire procedure takes up to 20-25 minutes, the patient is awake during this surgery and experiences no pain. Thankfully, due to recent developments in the medical field, the surgery results in 99.9% success rate.
Q.4: Do cataracts grow back?
Once it has been operated, cataracts do not grow back. Patients need not worry, very rarely patients eyesight might get weaker after the surgery. Laser treatment is recommended to counter this.
Q.5: What is the average age of patients suffering from cataracts?
Cataracts usually affect people above the age of 45, very rarely it can occur in youngsters and even children. It can be a birth defect as well, if the child is born with a cataract it must be immediately operated to restore the child’s eyesight otherwise, matters get worse and sometimes child faces permanent weakness of eyesight.
In youngsters, cataracts are usually a side effect that occurs due to the onset of other diseases for example eye diseases and diseases of the body such as diabetes may even cause cataracts.
I recommend my patients to routinely get eye checkups done, and in case cataract has been diagnosed, early operation is effective and prevents further complications.
You can watch the full interview to learn more about cataract surgery. Moreover, if you have any eye-related concerns, contact an eye specialist immediately.