Cataract Surgery - Manila, Philippines
Contrary to popular belief, a cataract is not a "film" over the eye. Rather it is a gradual thickening of the lens that causes the lens to become so clouded that light is either distorted or cannot reach the back of the eye (the retina) for transmission to the brain. When left untreated, cataracts will eventually cause blindness in most cases.
Any opacity of the lens or its capsule is termed a cataract. A cataract is not a 'new' growth in the eye or lens. The term 'cataract' merely implies that the lens is not completely transparent any more. The loss of transparency may be generalized or limited to some or the other part of the lens.
The lens has to be transparent for good vision. Any loss of transparency will produce less optimal vision. Vision through a 'cloudy' less transparent lens is blurry and is quite like looking through a misty glass or looking from behind a 'waterfall'. In fact, the literal meaning of the term 'cataract' is 'waterfall'.
The eye works much like a camera, and like a camera, depends on a clear lens to focus images. A lens with a cataract makes it impossible to see clearly.
When we look at an object, light reflects off the object and enters our eye. The lens focuses this light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The retina then converts these rays into electrical impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain converts the electrical impulses into images, allowing us to "see." Seeing clearly depends in large part on the clarity of the lens through which light passes.
- Kanski, Jack J. Clinical Ophthalmology, 4th ed.
- MedlinePlus Cataract
- National Institute of Health (NEI) Health Information. Facts About Cataracts
- "The Aging Eye: A Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School," Ed. Fine, Laura C. M.D and Heier, Jeffrey S. M.D., copyright 2006, Harvard Health Publications, Boston, MA.