DEFINITION: Cataract is the blurring of the eye lens after losing its transparency.

Figure 1. Demonstration of a healthy eye (left), an eye with cataract (middle) and steps of phacoemulsification surgery (right)

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS: The most common type of this disease is that which is due to aging. There are also other types accompanying systemic diseases like diabetes, myotonic dystrophia, atopic dermatitis, and neurofibromatosis-2. Secondary cataracts can be seen in eye diseases: chronic uveitis, acute angle closure glaucoma, high myopia, and hereditary fundus dystrophia. Secondary cataracts can also be found in eye traumas due to some systemic medications. There are genetic cataracts and congenital cataracts. In such cases, underlying systemic diseases should be investigated.

Figure 2. Anterior segment appearance of a patient diagnosed with mature cataract prior to surgery (left), following phocoemulsification and multifocal intraocular lens implnatation (right).

TREATMENT: The treatment is surgery. Through the phacoemulsification technique, the lens that has lost its transparency is crumbled and cleaned by ultrasonographic vibrations entering through a small cut and an artificial lens in suitable dioptry is placed instead.