Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens. The eye lens ensures that the rays of light which reach the eye form a sharp image on the retina. The lens is transparent and elastic in healthy, young people. Over time, changes in the lens can lead to clouding, known as age-related cataracts. Over the course of life, the lens becomes thicker and less elastic.
The main symptom is a gradual, painless loss of visual acuity and an increased sensitivity to glare, particularly in bright sunlight. The perception of contrasts and colour is also reduced, and the environment is perceived as if through fog. Occasionally monocular double vision also occurs, which continues to appear when the healthy eye is shut. All of this gradually has a negative impact on the person’s quality of life and causes difficulties, for example when driving at night.
In the early stages, an improvement in visual acuity can often be achieved by changing the strength of the glasses. Sunglasses also help with the increased sensitivity to light and glare. If at a more advanced stage a decrease in visual acuity is intolerable even with a new correction, an operation can be carried out to remove the lens and replace it with an artificial implant.
CAUSES AND EXAMINATION
The rays of the sun, in particular UV radiation, to which lenses are exposed throughout life, have a negative impact and facilitate the clouding of the lens.
Diabetes, reactions to medications (particularly cortisone), drugs or eye injuries such as bruising of the eyeball are also possible causes.
An eye test provides information about how badly the vision is impaired. The examinations of the lens are carried out using a slit-lamp microscope. The split-lamp provides an enlarged microscopic image of the front section of the eye, including the lens.
AFTER THE CATARACT OPERATION
After cataract operations, people are more sensitive to UV light because their natural lenses have been removed. This means that they no longer have their natural UV protection. Older intraocular lens implants absorb significantly less UV light than modern intraocular lens, which do now have a certain degree of protection against UV light.
Since visual acuity can fluctuate significantly in the first few weeks after the operation, it is necessary to wait 4 to 6 weeks to get new glasses. Wearing sunglasses after the operation is important as the new lenses are more permeable to light than the old, cloudy lenses.
Here at Optiker Fischer, we would be happy to provide advice on the perfect all-round protection for your eyes.