Fast facts about cataracts-A A +A
To Your Health
Saturday, July 21, 2012
OUR column has been receiving numerous requests to write on a particular topic, quite a motley variety of mdical issues, some too personal that their problems are unprintable. At any rate, we try to deal with your request with the best that we can. Meanwhile, most of our beloved Senior citizens have been asking about cataract.
Cataract is opacification of the lens of the eye or the illness of the eye in which the normally clear lens of the eye has bcomew opaque, so that very little or no light rays from objects we look at, do not pass thru and reach the retina, which in turn travels to the back part of our brain, where only then, we know or reconize what we just saw.The lens is one of the four refractive media- structures thru which light rays pass and eventually, refracted or "bent" to focus on the retina; the lens having the strongest refractive power - the others are the cornea, aqueous humor and vitreous humor
People with cataract complain of blurred vision. Other related symptoms include difficulty seing at night, glare when light appears too bright or when a halo appears around lights especially light bulbs as it a wave-like pattern of colors are slowly radiating from the bulb.. Some patients notice seeing double, or complains of seeing faded colors even though the colors are vibrantly new.. Others notice they change their eyeglasses frequently
Cataract formation is a degenerative disease, that is, an integral part of growing old, which explains why senile cataract is the most common type, occuring in persons usually 60 years and older. But, take nore even children may have cataract. Usually premature babies who are given high doses of oxygen may develop retrolental hyperplasia or opacification of the lens of the eye. An inborn error of metabolism called galactosemia has children as its victim having cataracts.. Other types of cataract can be congenital which occurs at birth or in early childhood or traumati which occurs i after injury to the eyes- even after several years after the injury- Then, there are the so-called " metabolic" causes of cataract as a result of diabetes, thyroid disease and other systemic illness..
Just mere looking at a mirror will not reveal a cataract, unless it is already in its advanced stage when a whitish opacity in the center of the pupil of the eye is noticed. Despite aggressive advertisements seen on TV or in newspapers or heard over the radio, eye-drops cannot curer or arrest cataract formation.. Probably, brighter lights new set of glasses or magnifying glass would be useful but soon and eventually, the patient may have to resort to the only definitive treatment, which is surgery.
Young ophthalmologists and doctors who specialized on eye surgery consider the procedure “phaecoemulsification" as the global gold standard in the treatment of cataract. it involves making a tiny incision in the eye, and softening the cataract through ultrasonic frequency sound waves until the liquefied cataract is finally sucked out. After that, an artificial lens is then inserted into the eye. Major advancements in the field of artificial lens implant have made it possible for cataract patients to see clearly for both near and far vision without the aid of glasses. The procedure can be done in an out-patient basis, thus convenient for those who need to go to work., although prudence dictates that some amount of rest would make the healing faster with less complications..
Baguio and the Cordilleras are lucky to have excellent eye doctors like Dr. Ronaldo Paraan, Dra. Ngaosi_Mondiguing, Dr. Noel Sison, Dr. Danilo Flores and lately, Dr. Darby Santiago. Check them out and am sure , on a clear day, you can see forever!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 21, 2012.