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What are the different symptoms of cataracts?

Gradual clouding of the lens (cataracts) can lead to:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision (most common symptoms of cataracts caused by aging)
  • Small spots or dots in the field of vision
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • Poor perception of contrasts
  • Difficulty in distinguishing reliefs
  • Impaired colour vision: yellowing of colours or difficulty in differentiating certain colours, such as black, navy blue, or purple
  • Discomfort when reading
  • Sensitivity to bright light and glare phenomena (making driving at night difficult for example)

A person with incipient (immature) cataracts simply needs to have their condition checked regularly and wear suitable eyewear. When the cataract progresses and it causes discomfort in daily activities, the only effective treatment is surgery.   

What are the steps before, during and after cataract surgery?

Before the surgery

Depending on your condition, your ophthalmologist will confirm whether preoperative treatment is required.

During the surgery

Most often, cataract surgeries are performed under local anesthesia using eye drops or gel. A sedative may be given to you before the procedure to prevent any pain during the anesthesia and to reduce your anxiety.

During the operation, the surgeon makes a small incision in the eye and the capsular bag (an envelope that surrounds the lens). A tiny ultrasound probe is passed through the incision to break up the cataract and aspirate its contents. The surgeon keeps the capsular bag intact, into which the intraocular implant is inserted. Suturing the incision is not always necessary and the operation usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

After the surgery

Postoperative follow-ups will be provided, according to your needs, by the ophthalmologist and their team.

After cataract surgery, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or are on long-term corticosteroid therapy, check-up appointments are even more important. With regular examinations, cataracts or other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma, can be detected at an early stage.