Cataract is a very slow phenomenon that occurs during the course of a lifetime. It is the opacification of the crystalline lens (the natural lens of the eye). From a biological point of view, the cataract results from the activation of an enzyme called kynurenineamino-transferase. This enzyme, which is induced in humans around the age of 20 to 23, oxidizes the lens and causes an increasing diffraction of light, which is responsible for glare.
Symptoms: progressive decrease of vision, duller colors, blurred sensation, visual fatigue, increasing glare, reading possible only with a strong light, difficulties for night driving under the rain, splitting of the image.
Diagnosis: by means of a simple ophthalmological check-up.
Our team of ophthalmologists is trained in the best techniques and uses the latest equipment in order to provide the most appropriate treatment for your case. Accompanied by Dr. Maria-Laura Dari - a medical graduate from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, FMH Ophthalmology and cataract specialist - she offers the following treatments
Modern medical treatment of cataracts
The natural rate of progression of cataracts can be accelerated by the use of certain toxins, such as tobacco, or the abuse of other products, such as alcohol. It can also progress more rapidly with certain diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or significant nutritional deficiencies. Although there is currently no medical treatment for cataracts and there is a lack of independent scientific research to confirm this, a healthy diet, reasonable use of antioxidants and good protection against ultraviolet rays can slow the rate of progression of cataracts.
Surgical treatment of cataracts
When the patient is sufficiently affected by the cataract, the treatment consists of replacing the clouded natural lens with an artificial lens (intraocular implant) made of a synthetic material. This very delicate and sophisticated surgical operation must be performed in an operating room under sterile conditions and with the help of a microscope. Usually painless, it is performed on an outpatient basis, under topical anesthesia (i.e., without a needle) and the patient remains awake throughout the procedure. The patient can leave the surgical center within an hour of the procedure and return to the doctor's office for a check-up.
Cataract surgery has undergone a very important technological evolution and so has the manufacturing of intraocular implants. Since the 1970's, techniques have been developed and these procedures are considered safe and effective. Most implants contain a filter that blocks much of the sun's ultraviolet rays that are harmful to the eye. They are injected into the eye through a small 2 mm incision, unfold in the eye and remain there for life, no changes are necessary. The goal is to give the patient a better quality of vision and maximum independence from glasses. These implants can correct vision disorders such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. The most suitable lens for each patient is selected after a thorough examination in which the exact curvature of the cornea and the length of the eye are measured. This examination is of vital importance in determining the power of the intraocular implant.
Our ophthalmology centre offers you the opportunity to benefit from specific implants with the aim of significantly improving your vision. Here are the different types of intraocular implants:
- Aspheric monofocal implant
By choosing the right implant power according to the calculation, it is possible to correct pre-existing myopia or hyperopia. Due to the characteristics of its optics, this traditional implant offers an excellent quality of vision and improves contrasts. Depending on the patient's choice, it is possible to optimize distance or near vision, or to opt for the "monovision" solution (which consists of combining clear distance vision on the dominant eye with clear vision at reading distance on the other eye). This allows both eyes to work together and reduces the dependence on glasses for most daily activities. Before choosing this option, a special test is performed (possibly with contact lenses) to ensure that the visual system can accept this difference in focus and that the patient is comfortable.
- Toric monofocal implant
The toric implant allows to correct and reduce the astigmatism generated by the cornea, however, it requires a rigorous positioning in the eye. This implant will correct the patient's myopia or hyperopia but also his astigmatism. After the operation, it will be possible to have optimal vision at a distance or close up without glasses (depending on the patient's choice). The option of monovision is also possible with toric implants.
- EDOF Implant
Unlike a standard monofocal intraocular lens, the EDOF implant allows for an extended depth of field: this means clear vision at distance and mid-distance without glasses. For near vision, however, a correction will be necessary. In addition, this implant geometry is also available for astigmatic eyes (toric EDOF) to correct all types of visual defects.
- Multifocal/trifocal implant
These implants are designed to reduce dependence on glasses for distance, intermediate and near vision. The technology of these implants varies from one manufacturer to another, but all agree that the implant has several focal lengths (far, intermediate, near) to give a clear image at all distances. They can correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia, however, some visual discomfort may be perceived such as glare, perception of light halos, and a reduction in the perception of contrasts in about 20% of patients.
The various implants detailed above are not covered by health insurance companies. Part of the costs will therefore be borne by the patient.