Cataracts (or motiya in the eyes) are one of the most commonly seen eye conditions. We have purposely not called it a disease. You see, a cataract is actually an aging process of the lens that is normally present in the eyes. Cataract Surgery is one of the most common surgeries our ophthalmologists/eye doctors/cataract surgeons perform at Eye Solutions. The surgery is called ‘Phacoemulsification’ or ‘Phaco Surgery’. In Hindi, it is simply known as the ‘Motiya operation’. Eye Solutions can safely be considered as one of the best hospitals for Motiyabind operation or cataract surgery.
The word “Cataract” means a large waterfall. You will agree a large waterfall is usually white in color. So is the medical condition of cataract or Motiya.
When we look at someone, we see brown eyes, and this brown part is known as the iris. There is a transparent layer in front of the iris called the cornea. Usually, contact lens wearers are aware of this layer because they wear their contact lenses on the cornea.
If you notice closely you will see a central black circle in the iris. This is actually a hole in the iris and is called the pupil. The natural lens of the eye is situated behind the iris and can be seen through the pupil. It is through this pupil that light enters the eye and one can see things.
We are all born with this natural lens in the eye. This lens helps in focusing rays of light onto the retina so that one can see clearly.
All of us have used a camera. We know that sometimes the camera takes a few seconds to focus on something to make it clear. It Autofocusses. You will agree that we humans can see clearly for all distances be it very far or very near. That’s because this lens inside the eye helps in autofocussing similar to a camera. As we age, this ability to autofocus reduces, and this is felt first at the age of around 42 years. This is the time when one may feel that they are not comfortable reading things for near. As the years go by the reading number gradually increases. That is why we need a reading number of a higher number as we age.
Now, the natural lens of the eye is made up of natural proteins. These proteins age as we grow older. With age, the color and consistency of the protein fibers change, and slowly the fibers become yellow and white. This is known as a CATARACT.
Thus, one should not consider a cataract as a disease and worry. It is nothing but an aging process and its natural for a cataract to occur.
So with age, the transparent lens is now made up of yellow and white fibers and thus blocks some light from entering the eye. At this point, a person with cataract starts complaining of poor vision and may visit their ophthalmologist.
During the initial stages of cataract, the complaints are mild. Like halos around the oncoming headlights or poor vision in dim light or simply not being happy with their vision.
In the later stages, as the cataract advances, people may complain of poor vision as compared to before. Some may also not be able to perform routine daily activities.
Many years ago, let’s say 35 years ago, technology was not available with an ophthalmologist to treat or operate on a cataract in the early stages. Thus, the ophthalmologist always told the patient that the cataract was not ripe and that they should wait for some more time. The patient and the ophthalmologist, were willing for surgery but the technology did not permit that to happen. Today ophthalmologists can perform cataract surgery even before a cataract has developed, because of the available technology.
The answer to that is simple. One can undergo cataract surgery at any time when they feel they are not enjoying their vision. Now, enjoying the quality of vision is different for different people. So some may choose to get it done early and some may choose to get it done late. Both the choices are correct and there is no right or wrong.
Cataract surgery is done by a technique called ‘Phacoemulsification’, also sometimes known as ‘Phaco Surgery’. It is performed by eye doctors or ophthalmologists. All ophthalmologists are cataract surgeons.
But the fact remains that surgery is the only option to correct or improve vision affected by cataracts.
The first thing to do would be to undergo a cataract consultation by your ophthalmologist. It would help you understand if you even have a cataract and what could be the next steps you could consider taking.