What are cataracts and what treatments are there?

What are cataracts?

The cataract is the result of the natural aging of the lens, which causes its sclerosis (loss of elasticity) and opacification (loss of transparency). As a consequence, light rays do not reach the retina correctly and the patient cannot see clearly.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts usually appear progressively, so that the patient does not usually notice the decrease in their visual quality until they are moderately advanced. Some of the more frequent symptoms include:

- Loss of distance vision. Decreased color and luminosity of objects.
- Cloudy vision or with the sensation of having a veil in front of you.
- Dazzling (dysphotopsia). Double vision (monocular diplopia).

different types of cataracts

Although the most common form of cataract is that associated with the natural aging of the individual, it is not the only type of cataract that can occur. Based on the cause and time of presentation, we differentiate:

They are a consequence of the natural aging of the lens and give rise to a progressive loss of transparency.

They are the consequence of certain metabolic conditions that cause alterations in the crystalline lens.


Cataracts in children are rare. They can be caused by an infection during pregnancy, chromosomopathies or hereditary.


They develop quickly and are caused by physical injuries that affect the lens such as bruises, electric shock or radiation.


They are induced by the use or abuse of drugs or toxins such as topical or systemic corticosteroids.


Developed from another ocular pathology (high myopia, closed-angle glaucoma, chronic anterior uveitis, etc.).



The only effective treatment for cataract removal is by surgery . Optical correction (glasses or contact lenses) and medications do not eliminate this pathology.

Cataract surgery replaces the cloudy natural lens with a intraocular lens (MESS).

Cataracts are removed using the technique of phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implant. This technique can be helped by the use of laser femtosecond (femtophaco), or be substituted by the use of nanolaser.



The phacoemulsification It is a microincisional procedure for sutureless cataract surgery and is completely ambulatory.

This technique makes use of a ultrasonic tip which is responsible for fragmenting the opacified lens and using a suction system controlled by the surgeon, the cortical material is extracted through a minimal incision.

Advantages cataract surgery

As it is an innocuous material, the lens it last for ever and there is no age limit set for it.

fix more bugs

It allows, in turn, to correct refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism).


It is not necessary to wait for the cataract to mature to perform the intervention.

simple surgery

Sutureless operation with rapid recovery. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.


In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced by an intraocular lens. Said lenses are in all cases inert and biocompatible, that is, they are completely harmless to our eyes.

However, not all pseudophakic intraocular lenses are the same, since it will depend on whether our objective is only to eliminate the cataract or also to eliminate the patient's graduation. Based on whether the intraocular lenses will allow the patient to see without glasses or contact lenses, at short, medium or far distance, we can distinguish between monofocal or multifocal lenses. Those that also correct astigmatism are known as toric.

Over the years, the posterior lens capsule on which the intraocular lens is implanted becomes fibrous, causing visual impairment months/years after the intervention. It is what is known in general terms as "getting the lens dirty" although the reality is that the intraocular lens is not the one that gets dirty, but the capsule on which it rests. Its solution is quick and simple through the use of YAG capsulotomy.

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