Cataracts? Put on your sunglasses!
1."Senile cataracts" are a leading cause of vision loss world wide. They are due to aging. Failure to treat them could cause vision loss or glaucoma. African-Americans have a higher risk than Caucasians. Treatment delay could progress to swelling, and blindness.
2. Risk factors include older age, female gender, smoking, diabetes, ultraviolet light exposure, hypertension, drug and alcohol ingestion, and myopia. Higher education lowers risk. Workers exposed to infrared radiation without sunglasses have a higher risk of senile cataracts.
3, Diagnosis and exam. A thorough exam includes a slit exam, Some one who can't read better than 20/200 on the the vision chart may have a "mature cataract." The eye is dilated to look for pupil size and brunescence (hardening and darkening of the lense and cataracts A slit lamp should include lens opacity (cloudiness) but also other eye structures. Cornea thickness and presence of opacities,such as gutta (tear drop shaped opacities) require a detailed exam. Not all cataracts need surgical removal at the time of diagnosis. If vision isn't impaired or if the patient isn't ready for surgery,then followup visits are recommended.
4, Recovery and prognosis. Patients are discharged home when they have recovered from surgery The're prescribed topical eye drops, anti-inflammarory and prescription steroids, and antibiotics. Six to eight weeks weeks after surgery, prescription glasses are provided, and medicines are tapered. Most cataract surgeries are done on an outpatient basis.
5. Following surgery, an eye shield is put over the operated eye. It is removed several hours later. At any stage following surgery, there is risk for inflammation and infection. Heavy lifting is not recommended for a period of time to prevent injury.
Source: Source: Medscape http://www.emedicinehealth.com/cataracts/article_em.htm