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Eye diseases

Cataracts

cataratas
More than 60% of those over the age of 70 suffer from them.
They are treated by quick, simple and practically risk-free surgery in expert hands.
You do not have to wait for them to be very advanced to have the operation.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are caused due to a loss of transparency of the crystalline lens, an ocular structure that acts as a lens and enables you to focus, allowing the sun’s rays to enter the eye and diverting them so that they converge on the retina and you can see clearly.

When this natural lens of the eye becomes opaque, your vision is “clouded”, as if you were looking through dirty or misted glass.

This is the main cause of blindness in developing countries and the ocular pathology involving the highest number of operations in developed countries.

If you have cataracts, you will quite often experience a loss of colour intensity (with a predominance of yellowish shades) and difficulty in adapting to changes in light and in seeing properly at night. You might also notice significant, unexpected changes in the prescription strength of your glasses, or you must suddenly be able to see without them when it was previously impossible (the crystalline lens turns into a sort of magnifying glass because of the changes caused by the cataract). On all accounts, the impact on your eyesight and quality of life will depend on how advanced your cataracts are, as well as their location:

  • Nuclear cataracts are formed in the centre of the crystalline lens and often evolve slowly and progressively. These are most common with age.
  • Cortical cataracts spread radially from the outside of the crystalline lens towards the centre, and initially affect near vision.

Subcapsular cataracts affect the capsule or rear part of the crystalline lens and often evolve very quickly and cause dazzling.

Most cases of cataracts are due to the ageing process of the eye, and it is a pathology that affects over half the population over the age of 65. However, there are also other causes or risk factors that can speed up the appearance of cataracts, such as:

  • High myopia
  • Metabolic diseases such as diabetes or hypothyroidism
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight or other types of radiation, as well as to high temperatures
  • Ocular inflammation, such as uveitis
  • Eye injuries
  • Chronic treatments with corticosteroids

Although less frequently, congenital cataracts also exist and appear from birth.

The only solution to cataracts is surgery, which is very safe and has excellent results for fast recovery of eyesight. In fact, many people after surgery say that they can see “in high definition” again, and soon notice that they have fewer falls, drive more safely, etc.

It is important to consult with a specialist to determine the most suitable time to operate on cataracts in each case (you do not have to wait until your eyesight is extremely limited) and to conduct a full, prior study. Not all cataracts are the same and some patients, such as those with diabetes or who have undergone prior eye surgery, might be at greater risk of complications unless a correct diagnosis and precise surgical indications are given. Therefore, the Miranza ophthalmology centres provide all the experience of our team and the latest technology in consulting rooms and operating theatres.