A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s crystalline lens which is a very common age related eye disease. The only treatment for cataract, which is also often called a grey star, is surgery. Every year about 600,000 cataract operations are carried out in Germany. In Eye Clinic of Braunschweig, we have a modern operating room with the latest equipment to perform surgery to remove a clouded lens and transplant artificial one.
Symptoms of Cataract
There are three common types of cataract and its symptoms could vary significantly depending on which of them is present:
- Nuclear cataract. With nuclear cataract a near sight vision could first improves, but, then, it will deteriorate and those who has this type experience reduction of vision. On advanced stages, nuclear cataract may be visible as opaque spots back of the pupil.
- Subcapsular cataract. This type of cataract cause glare or kind of perception when light seems too bright
- Cortical cataract. Glare and double vision are the main signs of this type of cataract.
Among the other signs and symptoms of cataract you could name:
- Blurred or clouded vision
- Seeing halos around luminous objects
- Faded colors
- Distorted vision as through a veil
Types of cataract operations
Cataract operations are quite simple and have low risks of complication. In the Clinic of Braunschweig, as well as in the other Germany, cataract surgery is done by several methods:
- Open manual surgery
- Phacoemulsification (ultrasonic method)
- Laser cataract operation
By extent, cataract operations can be split into the following groups:
- Extracapsular extraction. The lens is removed, but the most part of the elastic capsule stays in place. Extraction of the lens can be done either via a big incision in the sclera or small tunnel, which is a more advanced technique.
- Intracapsular extraction. The lens is elicited together with the elastic capsule. This method was widely used in the past, but presently it is a rather rare cataract operation in Germany.
What is preferable in every individual case is decided by a doctor based on examination results and wishes of a patient, but mostly ophthalmologists in Germany choose phacoemulsification or laser surgery that are the modern techniques, quick and safe.
Whether you need a bigger incision or smaller depend on the type of intraocular implants. Non-foldable lenses require a bigger incision while foldable implants can be inserted via a small puncture in the sclera.
With this method an operating ophthalmologist uses an ultrasonic tool to emulsify the internal lens affected by the disease. As a grey star is denaturized lens protein, the aim of cataract operation is to remove the spots of degraded protein.
There are the following stages of a cataract operation:
- Cornea incision
- Opening of lens capsule
- Destroying of cataract with an ultrasonic probe
- Sucking the remains of cortex layer away
- Inserting an artificial lens to remove natural one
- Injecting salt water into cuts in cornea to seal incisions
Cataract operation by phacoemulsification method lasts up to 20 minutes and can be done on outpatient basis.
Laser Surgery for Cataract
Laser assisted cataract surgery, same as ultrasound emulsification, is a kind of extracapsular extraction when clouded lens is removed with a small part of the capsule. The technique is not different from described above phacoemulsification but, in this case, all the stages as incision, removing an anterior part of the capsule and a grey star destroying are done by a femtosecond laser. It is a more expensive method comparing to traditional surgery, but some US studies advise that cataract operation is safer when done with laser. In Germany, laser is not so widely used for a grey star but in our clinic we find the technique more progressive than others both in terms of safety and recovery after surgery.
Cataract Surgery Prognosis
95% of those who had a cataract operation have improved their vision. Unfortunately, a poorer result may be expected if a patient also has another eye disease, such as age-dependent macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinal disease, glaucoma, or circulatory disturbance of the optic nerve. Your eye doctor will help you to make a decision and tell you what improvements the surgery can bring to you.
Although the complications are rare after cataract operations in technologically developed countries, including Germany, here you find the most common of them:
- Swelling inside of the eye and around the eyes
- Retinal swelling
Among more serious issues there are:
- Detached retina
- Implanted lens dislocation
- Back side of the capsule may become opaque
- Vision loss
Your Eye Doctor in Germany
Choosing cataract operation in Germany you choose quality at affordable prices. Please call us to make an appointment for diagnosis and surgery. Our qualified doctors will advise you a better method and preferable type of lenses.