Cataracts are one of the conditions that affect the eyes and are usually related to age. However, they can also be caused by genetic factors, trauma or the consumption of certain medications.
Specifically, they are the total or partial opacification of the crystalline lens, which causes progressive loss of vision. The only way to cure this condition, which always gets worse, is by surgical intervention.
After diagnostic tests have been performed and it has been determined that the patient has cataracts, the operation is performed. Before the operation, some tests are usually performed, which consist of testing visual acuity, measuring eye pressure or performing an optical coherence tomography, among others.
Cataract surgery, which restores normal vision to the eye, is usually an outpatient procedure, so the patient does not need to stay in the hospital. In addition, local anesthesia is used, by means of anesthetic drops or a periocular injection in the eyelid.
For the operation, the specialist makes a cut or incision in the eye and removes the crystalline lens using different techniques, depending on the duration of the cataract, as explained by MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine of the United States.
Firstly, it can be by phacoemulsification, a procedure with sound waves to break the cataract into small fragments that are subsequently extracted by suction. It can also be by extracapsular extraction, when the doctor removes the cataract in one piece, for which a larger cut is needed.
Finally, there is laser surgery, in which the doctor uses a laser machine to make the incisions and soften the cataract. The rest of the surgery is very similar to phacoemulsification. The use of the laser is more comfortable for the patient and more accurate in treating the condition. In addition, the patient has a better recovery.