If your doctor tells you that you have cataract do not worry. About half of the population over 65 years of age have cataract and in most cases it can be successfully treated with an operation.
Despite what you have already heard, cataract is not a membrane growing in front of the eye. It is the lens of the eye becoming opaque. The lens of the eye is normally clear and bends the light so that it can focus on the retina at the back of the eye. When the lens becomes opaque the light cannot go through and the vision becomes blurry, weak and the colors appear washed-out. If the cataract remains without treatment your vision will get really bad but you will always be able to tell light from dark.
Cataract can appear:
If you have cataract you may notice that things appear blurry or that your glasses seem dirty or scratched. You may see things double or distorted, have difficulties with the day light and colors or if you leave it for a long time you may notice your eye becoming gray.
The treatment of cataract is an operation. It is advised when the cataract gives you trouble in your daily activities, like reading, working, or in general to do the things that give you pleasure. The operation is not done by laser but with ultrasounds, although sometimes laser may be used after the cataract operation. The surgery is usually done under local anesthetic (with drops in the eye or an injection around the eye that is not very painful) and you leave the hospital the same day, although in some cases general anesthesia and a short stay in the hospital may be required.
Drops will be put in you eye prior to the operation to dilate the pupil and a sedative to relax will be given to you if you wish. During the operation the opaque lens is removed from the eye through a very small opening under the microscope. Then a small plastic lens is positioned behind the iris in most cases. The incision is closed and the eye is usually padded until the next day when the pad is removed by the doctor. The operation usually lasts about 30-40 minutes and is painless. And be sure that the doctor does not remove the eye from the socket to operate on it.
After the operation your doctor will give you drops to put in the eye for a couple of weeks and in about 1 month after glasses for distance and near will be given to you.
Avoid to rub your eye, lift heavy things, do heavy work or intense work-out after the operation. You may wash your hair but with the head tilted to the back and avoid water to get into your eye. You may go out of the house but you will drive when your doctor tells you. If your eye suddenly becomes very painful or the vision gets very blurry then you will have to be examined by your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about your disease or its treatment do not hesitate to consult you doctor, who will discuss it in details with you.