The important biological characteristics of the lens are its transparency, translucency (resembling a camera lens), and elasticity. These characteristics are attained thanks to a complex cellular mechanism that permits a fixed high amount of water inside the lens. Over the years, the lens loses some of its transparency and translucency and becomes cloudy. This cloudiness is known as a cataract, which causes blurred vision. The decline in vision is gradual, and generally takes place in both eyes, but not to the same degree of severity and not at the same rate. In third world countries, the decline of eyesight due to cataracts is extensive enough to cause blindness. In fact, even though cataracts are treatable, they are the world's leading cause of blindness.
There are several types of cataracts. The most common is related to old age. There are also congenital cataracts, as well as cataracts that develop following an eye injury or due to diseases such as diabetes or taking particular medications. The disease usually appears between the ages of 55-65. Approximately 40% of people over age 60 suffer from cataracts. Despite this statistic, cataracts can also appear in young people.
Symptoms of Cataract Disease
Decline in visual acuity is one of the most common symptoms of the appearance of cataracts. In some types of cataracts, nearsightedness actually improves. Another symptom that is likely to appear is a rapid change in the number for distance. In other types of cataracts (cloudiness in the rear part of the lens), sunlight or car headlights at night can cause glare. In other cases, the cataract is likely to appear as an intraocular eye infection, and congenital cataracts show up in children as white pupils.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
An ophthalmologist can diagnose a cataract through a simple clinical examination using a slit lamp (after the pupils are dilated). At the same examination, the ophthalmologist measures intraocular eye pressure, the optic nerve, and the optic center. According to the clinical examination, the ophthalmologist will know whether to combine the cataract treatment with additional surgeries.
The recommended treatment for cataract disease is a common, relatively short surgery through which the cloudy lens is removed and a permanent transparent artificial lens is implanted in its place. Thanks to modern technology, cataract surgery does not require hospitalization. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia with the aid of eye drops.
Our surgery rooms include an anesthesiologist who monitors the welfare of the patient. In most cases, we perform the surgery using the advanced phacoemulsification method. A miniature ultrasound instrument removes the cloudy lens by suction through a tiny 2mm opening. The new artificial lens replaces the natural lens and remains in the eye permanently. The phaco method improves vision quickly, significantly shortens the actual surgery time, and enables the patient to return to his routine activities almost immediately. This method has a high success rate, thanks to Enaim's advanced technology, experienced specialists, and veteran staff.
Multi-Cataract – No More Reading Glasses!
Today it is possible in some cases to surgically repair nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism at the same time in a surgery called multi-cataract. In this type of surgery, exclusive multi-focal lenses are implanted which offer a solution to seeing close up and far away, thereby eliminating the need for reading glasses