Cataract, what to do when the lens becomes opaque


A pathology diagnosed through a complete eye examination

Cataracts, a progressive and irreversible ocular pathology consisting in the gradual opacification of the crystalline lens, affects about 60% of people over the age of 70 in Italy, but even much younger patients may be affected, albeit less frequently. Nowadays, scientific research has achieved surprising goals in the field of ophthalmology: “the intervention, which aims to replace the opaque crystalline lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), is no more painful or invasive as in the past, and guarantees excellent results as long as performed by expert hands with the help of the most advanced and innovative technologies “, asserts Dr. Alessandra Nuvoloni, ophthalmologist of Rome.

Dr. Nuvoloni, how is the cataract treated today?

The therapy is essentially surgical, even if the “timing” for the intervention is different from patient to patient depending on various factors (age, work activity, possibility of visual recovery). In the past it was common belief that the intake of eye drops and / or supplements could somehow block the evolution of the disease, stopping the opacification of the crystalline lens. In reality it has been widely demonstrated that none of the pharmacological substances currently on the market can completely block the progression of the disorder. In other words, the only way to definitively cure the cataract is through a delicate surgery.

Who should you contact in the presence of the first symptoms?

Exclusively to the ophthalmologist, specialist graduate in medicine and surgery with at least 15 years of education and training, which can diagnose eye diseases, prescribe drugs and perform surgery. The optician, on the other hand, has decidedly different and not “medical” skills: clearly he can not make any diagnosis, let alone perform therapeutic activities of any kind. In anticipation of a cataract surgery, therefore, only the ophthalmologist can perform a complete diagnostic examination, with slit lamp and magnifying glass, to exclude the presence of concomitant pathologies, evaluate the retinal status and the refractive defect that may possibly be correct during the intervention.

What kind of operation is that of cataract?

The surgery, which can basically be performed using laser or ultrasound techniques, is considered a highly specialized microsurgery procedure: performed under topical anesthesia (with drops of eye drops) it is fast but extremely delicate. It is therefore of fundamental importance that it is carried out by highly qualified professionals, able to guarantee to each patient the diagnostic evaluation and the most suitable and effective treatment in terms of functional results.

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