The doctor. Nabil Ragai Kamel is a prominent ophthalmologist who has been trained between Madrid and Cairo. He is Head of the Ophthalmology Service of Quirón Hospitals in Marbella and Quirón San José and San Camilo Hospitals in Madrid.. In the following article, explain everything you need to know about the cataract.
What are cataracts?
Cataract is the loss of transparency of the human lens. It is an aging process that suffers the lens of the eye. Over time, the crystalline fibers become more compact, denser, and lose their transparency.
When does it appear and how does it affect the patient?
The cataract, being an aging process , usually appears more in older people. It is much more common after 70 years. It is estimated that between 70-80% of the population over 70 years suffers a certain degree of cataracts. This does not mean that it does not appear in younger people. In fact, every time we are seeing it in younger patients, even from the age of 50 we are seeing many patients with cataracts. It affects us, mainly, at the level of visual acuity. As the cataract grows, it will take away sharpness and visual acuity.
What is your treatment and what progress has there been in recent years?
The treatment of cataract is necessarily surgical. There is no other option at the moment. Cataract surgery has undergone many advances in recent years. Nowadays surgery lasts practically 5 minutes, it is done with topical anesthesia and consists of replacing the damaged lens of the eye that is the cataract with a new lens, a prosthesis that is an intraocular lens. The surgery, with all the latest advances, also helps to improve the visual acuity and refraction of the patient afterwards, that is, it helps us to be able to detach from the use of the glasses after surgery. The latest advances have focused on improving the quality and performance that can be given with an intraocular lens. Right now we can correct far correction such as myopia, hyperopia or even astigmatism and also at the same time we can correct presbyopia or eyestrain, so correct the visual acuity of the patient far and near in the same surgery.
Can they be prevented?
The aging process that produces the cataract is an irreversible process and there is no way to avoid it. The only thing we can do is try to protect the eye , for example ultraviolet rays that accelerate the aging process, with appropriate sunglasses, can treat the associated systemic conditions, such as diabetes that accelerate the cataract process and make that the cataract appears at a younger age.
Nowadays, it is thought that the use of antioxidant products and of vitamins or minerals that help to delay systemic aging also help to delay the aging process in a cataract.