Care and treatment

Can cataract be prevented?
There is no scientifically proven strategy to prevent formation of cataract, or its worsening once started. However research suggests that avoiding intense UV light (by wearing protective sunglasses), avoiding smoking, and keeping diabetes in check may help.

What is the treatment of cataract?
Cataracts are treated with surgery if vision problems are interfering with the person's daily activity and quality of life. Cataract surgery is very common and is the most successful and cost-effective surgical procedure worldwide. It involves removing the cataractous natural lens of the eye, and replacing it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) implant.

Cataract cannot be treated medically with oral medicines or eye drops.

When should a cataract be operated?
Although stronger eyeglasses or brighter lighting may help relieve the symptoms of a cataract in its early stages, surgery is the only cure for cataracts. However, just because one has a cataract doesn’t mean that he/she has to have it removed. Cataract surgery only becomes necessary when one is not happy with the vision and there is a desire to see well. Talk to your eye doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your vision.

Will I be unconscious (put to sleep) during the surgery? Is it painful?
With the advent of numbing drops, most of the surgeries can be performed without putting the person to sleep. The person can talk and interact with the doctor during the surgery. The surgery is virtually painless. In very few cases, a small injection may have to be given around the eye to numb it totally.

Cataract surgeries in children are usually performed by putting them to sleep as it is difficult for them to co-operate by staying still throughout the surgery.