ENCYCLOPEDIA DETAIL

DISEASE

Cataract

Lens Surgery Cataract Implants
Cataracts are the opaque, or milky, areas that can form in part or all of the crystaline lens of the eye. They often start with only a slight disturbance of normal vision, often going unnoticed for years, and can slowly increase in opacity until they completely interfere with vision. Some of the early effects of a cataract are a decrease in contrast sensitivity and color intensity, but eventually they also decrease visual acuity.
There are many possible reasons for developing a catartact, including age, excess exposure to ultraviolet light and radiation, physical trauma to the eye, secondary effects of diseases such as diabetes or hypertension, and the side effects of certain drugs such as corticosteroids. There may also be a genetic component to certain forms of cataracts. Cataracts are classified by a number of terms that include: partial, complete, hard, soft, stationary or progressive, nuclear, cortical, mature, and hypermature. They may also be classified as being posterior or anterior, referring to thier location.
Surgery ro remove "mature" cataracts is common and is often performed with only a local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to go home the same day. The surgery removes the old lens and replaces it with a plastic one, referred to as an intraocular lens, or IOL. Endophthalmitis and retinal detachment are some of the possible complications of cataract surgery.
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