Monday, 10 October 2016

Cataract – The Basics

Cataract of the eye is the leading cause of blindness in India and the world - Ironic, considering the fact that this blindness is reversible.
What we mean to say is that a majority of people facing visual impairment due to cataract are facing unnecessary physical, financial and emotional turmoil purely due to lack of awareness.
A plethora of reasons prevent them from seeking help at the right time.


Without getting too technical, Here’s what You need to know to help break the chain of ignorance.

What is Cataract?

Cataract is the condition in which the natural human lens in the eye turns cloudy or opaque.

Why does cataract happen?

Cataract occurs due to degeneration of the normally transparent lens material or deposition of protein or pigments on it due to a variety of causes. Ageing is the most common cause.
Drugs, Tauma, Exposure to radiation, Diseases like diabetes, certain ophthalmic procedures all may result in cataract. It may well be present at birth too.

How does Cataract affect my vision?

Since the human lens is required to be clear in order for us to see well, the cataract causes dimness of vision and other similar symptoms – e.g. Glare

To get an idea of what a person with cataract sees - Imagine driving on a rainy day with your windshield fogged up, or looking through an unfocused camera.

How is Cataract treated?

Unfortunately, there is no oral or topical medication via which we can reverse the changes in the lens. What we do instead is, we Remove the natural lens and Replace it with an artificial one.
The method by which this surgery is done, and the quality of the artificial lens implanted are major factors to be considered. The Surgery has evolved from ICCE to Phacoemulsification to FemtoLaser. Lenses have evolved from glass to PMMA to a mind boggling array of present day foldable lenses. The details of each will be considered in subsequent newsletters.

Which method do we commonly use for Cataract surgery under VFI?

Majority of the cataract surgeries under Vision Foundation of India are performed via Phacoemulsification.
The Lens implanted is the Indian foldable lens.

Is this Phacoemulsification surgery safe?

Phacoemulsification is one of the safest and most performed surgery.
The patient doesn’t require any local anesthesia injection, any stitch, any eye patch or hospital admission. With over 90% success rate and minimal complications, this procedure has become the gold standard procedure for cataract removal.

What else do you need to know about the surgery to reassure a prospective patient?
Phaco Catarct Surgery under VFI requires no hospital stay.
The procedure involves an Intraoperative time of 30 minutes on an average.
The procedure is not associated with intense pain/discomfort – It’s Bladeless
Post operative care is simple and uncomplicated

So, what can you do to help?

1.      Spread the Word!

By going through this blog, you’ve helped already! Next time you come across someone with possible problems with vision, do not hesitate to reassure them and refer them to us at - VISION FOUNDATION OF INDIA , 5, Babulnath Road, Mumbai 400 007, India. Tel: +91-22-23627777 / +91-22-23629999

2.     Donate!

Phaco Cataract Surgeries under Vision Foundation of India are presently   performed at just Rs. 1500 per eye!
For more details regarding donations, please log on to

3.     Join!

Join the movement as a Member/Volunteer/Brigadier. Whatever your skillset, VFI needs you. Find out how you can help. Drop us an email at

In Ophthalmology, Ignorance is not Bliss – it’s Blindness.