Secondary cataract

Cataract is a fairly common eye disorder that causes a progressive loss of vision due to loss of lens transparency.

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:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • 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.



Text medically reviewed by Dr. Teodor Holhoș, Ophthalmic Surgeon
Written by Dr. Holhos Team

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