What is secondary cataract?
Secondary cataract occurs post-surgically, after cataract surgery, and is also known as posterior capsule opacification. It is the most common complication after cataract surgery. It occurs in 3-50% of cases five years after surgery and is the result of migration and proliferation of epithelial cells, leading to reduced visual acuity.
Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens, leaving the capsule containing it empty and replacing it with an intraocular lens (artificial lens). The lens capsule is the thin transparent membrane that surrounds the lens. To remove the cataract, we need to make a slit in the anterior part of the capsule, leaving the posterior capsule intact to implant the lens.
This capsule can become opaque months or years after surgery, leading to a secondary cataract.
What symptoms do you experience in case of secondary cataract?
The most common symptoms of a secondary cataract are a reduction in visual acuity months or years after cataract surgery, which makes both distance and near vision difficult, the glare of the sun and the glare of car headlights at night become disturbing and color perception is reduced.
After your initial cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will schedule you for regular examinations for up to six months after surgery to monitor the potential development of secondary cataract. If you have had cataract surgery and begin to experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to let your ophthalmologist know.
What are the risk factors for developing a secondary cataract?
It is almost impossible to predict who will develop secondary cataract, but one risk factor is certain – for a person to develop secondary cataract, they must have had a primary cataract. People who are under 60 and have previously had cataract, glaucoma or retinal surgery are at higher risk of developing secondary cataract. Ironically, primary cataract is more common in people over 60, but secondary cataract occurs more often in patients under 60.
Other factors that increase the risk of cataract include:
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- High blood pressure
- Previous eye injury or inflammation
- Previous eye surgery
How can secondary cataract be prevented?
Advances in surgical technologies, thorough removal of epithelial capsule cells during cataract surgery and a variety of technologically advanced lenses help prevent or delay such secondary cataracts. However, there is no way to completely prevent the occurrence of secondary cataracts.
What treatment methods exist for secondary cataract?
Unlike cataract surgery, which involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one, secondary cataracts are treated with YAG laser. Exceptionally (massive fibrosis of the remaining capsule) surgery can be performed, with spectacular restoration of vision.
The YAG laser is a simple, painless and short procedure performed in the ophthalmologist’s office to remove secondary cataract. The YAG laser is a unique procedure. It restores clear vision to the patient. On average, it takes up to 5 minutes. Preparation of the patient will be done by instilling drops that help the pupil to dilate.
The Zeiss Visulas III device is used to treat secondary cataract. This is the most advanced device for treating secondary cataract, closed-angle glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Ophthalmic migraine is most common in the 40s. It manifests itself in visual impairment and even temporary blindness.
Keratitis, also known as “corneal ulcer”, is an inflammation of the cornea. If detected early, the ophthalmological disorder is easy to treat and heals quickly.
Diplopia is an ophthalmological disease in which you see two images of the same thing. The condition can affect anyone, but is more common after the age of 60.
Xanthelasma is a member of the xanthomas family and represents fatty deposits in the skin cells around the eyes. It is visible as yellow, harmless bumps.
Colorblind people perceive colors differently from most people. Most of the time, this ophthalmological disorder makes it difficult to distinguish between certain colors.
Epiphora is an ophthalmological disorder manifested by excessive tearing of the eyes. Most of the time, it is not severe and disappears on its own. However, if you are experiencing this and the problem persists, we recommend that you make an appointment for an ophthalmological examination. Treatment can be different, depending on the cause of the epiphora.
If you notice a yellow spot on the white of your eye, you are most likely dealing with pinguecula. The ophthalmological disorder is not severe, but the symptoms can be uncomfortable. Find out how to treat pinguecula and, more importantly, how you can prevent it.
Entropion is the ophthalmological disorder in which the eyelid of the eye turns inwards. It is different from ectropion, where the eyelid turns outwards. It most often occurs in older people and usually only affects the lower eyelid.
It is possible that you may also be experiencing ocular toxoplasmosis without knowing it. This retinal disorder is extremely common in our century and is manifested by eye discomfort and blurred vision.
Ectropion is the ophthalmic disorder in which the eyelid and eyelashes pull away from the cornea, and reorient outwards.
One of the most common types of headache is headache of ocular origin. It occurs as a result of an ophthalmological disorder.
Blepharitis is an ophthalmological disorder that manifests itself by inflammation of the eyelids. At the base of the eyelids, the patient notices small crusts formed by solidified oil particles or bacteria that collect in the crease at the corner of the eye.
Uveitis is an ophthalmological disorder of the uveal tract, manifested by changes in vision and eye pain.
Among the most common ophthalmological disorders is hordeolum. This is popularly known as an “stye” and is an infection of the eyelids.
The drooping eyelid is known in medical terms as “palpebral ptosis”. It manifests itself by narrowing the visual slit of one or both eyes, creating aesthetic and functional discomfort.