Do Cataracts Re-develop After Surgery? Are They More Common in Men or Women? 7 FAQs Answered


Cataract is a common eye problem that usually develops with age. But can it happen again after the operation? Expert answers common questions about cataracts.

Cataract is basically clouding of the lens, which is almost like looking through foggy glass. As a rite of passage, we age and so do our body’s mechanisms. With the many health problems that come with aging, cataracts are one of the most common eye problems. Cloudy eyes make reading and writing difficult. But what causes this development? Is there a chance it will re-form after surgery? Are women at greater risk of developing it?

There are a number of questions that arise along with this topic. What’s better than getting an expert’s opinion and setting the record straight. India.com got in touch with an eye expert to bust all the myths and dilleman. Dr. Supriya Sriganesh, CEO, Nethradhama Super Specialty Eye Hospital, Bengaluru, answers all frequently asked questions about cataracts.

Can children develop cataracts?

Cataract is a medical condition characterized by clouding of the lenses of the eyes. It is a natural part of the aging process when the lens of the eye loses its transparency. However, cataracts can also appear prematurely due to eye injuries, exposure to radiation and ultraviolet rays, and diseases such as diabetes. It can occur prematurely in children at birth or even later. Cataracts develop in children after birth due to various factors such as trauma, infections or certain diseases of the mother. Congenital cataract is a condition in which the lens of the eyes is cloudy instead of being clear at birth, making them opaque.

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Does your eye become more sensitive if you develop cataracts at a young age?

Sensitivity to bright light can increase with the development of cataracts at any age. Patients may experience increased glare and difficulty when driving at night and other low-light situations. However, most cases of age-related cataracts are painless and slowly progressive, where the patient does not experience much discomfort apart from visual disturbances.

Can cataracts develop again after surgery?

Once a cataract has been surgically removed, it cannot grow back. Cataracts do not recur or grow back after successful surgery. However, patients may develop a condition known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO) in due course after surgery, where a layer of cells develops behind the lens, causing blurred vision. Posterior capsule opacification can be easily corrected by polishing the lens with a laser, known as YAG laser capsulotomy. This is a painless, outpatient procedure that takes 10 minutes.

Does more screen time lead to early onset of cataracts?

The duration of screen time is not directly related to the development of cataracts. However, prolonged screen time in children can lead to myopia progression, and cataract formation may occur sooner in patients with high myopia.

Who is at greater risk of developing cataracts?

According to studies, women have a slightly higher risk of developing cataracts than men. This could be due to decreased postmenopausal estrogen levels and increased life expectancy. Globally, women have a higher burden of cataracts than men. Older age and lower socioeconomic status are associated with greater differences in cataract rates by sex.

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Can cataracts be dissolved naturally?

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Unlike other eye conditions, cataracts cannot be treated or dissolved with eye drops or any other medication. Phacoemulsification and laser surgery have now been accepted as the gold standard of surgical procedure for the treatment of cataracts. Once the cataract is removed, vision can be corrected with glasses or lenses. With technological advances, most patients can opt for glasses independence after cataract surgery.

Phacoemulsification is today the gold standard for cataract surgery. It is a minimally invasive surgery to remove cataracts. The process uses ultrasound energy in the form of high-frequency sound waves to emulsify the nucleus of the cloudy lens (cataract) into a gelatinous mass. The mass is then suctioned out of the eye with vacuum (aspiration). The procedure is completed by replacing the cataract with an IOL (intraocular lens).




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