When untreated, cataract is a disorder of vision that leads to a progressive reduction in vision following an opacification of the lens inside the eye that allows you to focus on the images on the retina. The only possible therapy so far is the surgery. The majority of the ophthalmologists recommend surgical intervention when cataracts begin to compromise the quality of life or interfere in daily activities, such as reading or driving at night. The operation consists of removing the part of the lens that has become opaque by implanting a plastic replacement lens. In most cases no stitches are necessary. But prostheses inserted instead of the crystalline lens, for their refinement, remain prostheses and to be more comfortable, some anatomical and clinical requirements of the patient are necessary. What can be done to achieve better results after surgery? We talked about it with Professor Paolo Vinciguerra, head of the Ophthalmology Centre of the Humanitas Clinical Institute and lecturer at Humanitas University.
“The diagnosis of cataract is made during a specialist examination such as the complete biomicroscopic examination and the examination of refraction and visual acuity – specifies the expert -. More advanced diagnostic methods include ocular aberrometry: this examination analyzes the optical properties of the eye and is capable of recognizing, often before the most concise symptoms, the “dysfunctional crystalline syndrome”, that is, the phase in which you appreciate a visual discomfort but there are still no other and more marked signs. In anticipation of the intervention, then, the patient will be subjected to further specific investigations.
Pre- and post-operative
As confirmed by the specialist, the cataract correction can only be done surgically: “In some cases, as the professor has added, however, it may be necessary to consider further laser treatment to improve the situation. In order to obtain the best possible performance from the implantation of a multifocal or trifocal lens, some anatomical and clinical requirements are necessary: cornea with a regular shape without optical aberrations, retina, especially the macula without pathologies”. In the operation it is also possible to use lenses with special characteristics: multifocal lenses, in other words, lenses capable of focusing at two distances, one from afar and one from near; toric lenses, which allow the correction of astigmatism, a congenital visual defect that distorts and blurs objects, both from a distance and from near; aspherical lenses, whose more curved shape in the center and flat at the edges, compensating for the natural defects of the cornea, enables better vision in any situation by improving the sensitivity to contrast and filtered ones, which thanks to special pigments absorb and filter the rays harmful to the retina, including ultraviolet sun rays.