The condition medically referred to as cataract, is an opacifiation of the lens in the eye. Its symptoms are blurred vision, glare sensitivity, poor vision in twilight, double contours when looking with only one eye, and changes in color perception. Cataract usually occurs with advanced age or is enhanced by diabetes, injuries, certain medications such as steroids, high myopia, radiation, or previous surgical procedures.
It is sensible to operate as soon as the cataract restricts a person’s quality of vision and life. Cataract operations are the most frequent and over all the safest surgical procedures in medicine in general. Surgery is planned according to the patient’s wish as an elective procedure and consists in removal of the turbid lens. A clear artificial lens is substituted into the organic lens capsule. The operation is painless and fast. It is performed under a microscope while the patient receives local anesthesia by anesthetizing eye drops. The procedure is usually conducted at an outpatient clinic as the patient is free of symptoms postoperatively. However, a hospital admission may be appropriate if there are aggravating conditions, e.g. frailty, Parkinson’s disease or other systemic disorders. After the operation, the patient has to administer anti-inflammatory drops into the eye for 1-2 weeks. A professional follow-up by the ophthalmologist allows to detect any early complications to be identified and treated promptly. As an active chief surgeon with over 30 years of experience and continuously taking care of all complex cases at the University Clinic, I am intimately familiar with all conditions and procedures.
A proliferation of cells resident in the natural lens capsule can cause postoperative opacification to emerge 3-6 months following cataract surgery. This is easily and painlessly removed by a so-called YAG laser polishing on an outpatient visit.
If both eyes are affected they can be operated simultaneously or successively at the patient’s discretion. The desired refraction, i.e. spectacle power, is precisely calculated prior to the operation and an appropriate artificial lens is selected according to the individual patient’s viewing habits and visual comfort.