Cataract

Medical content revised by - Last revision 04/06/2019
Cataract

What is a cataract?

The lens, located behind the iris and the pupil, enables us to focus objects. It can also change shape depending on whether these objects are near or distant. Cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes clouded and opaque.

When we are born, the lens is transparent. The lens undergoes several changes with ageing that can lead to cataract. These include loss of transparency (as it turns first yellow and then brown) and also loss of elasticity (as it becomes more and more rigid).


Symptoms

The cataract causes slow and progressive loss of vision, which normally happens over a period of months or years and affects one or both eyes. Distance vision is particularly affected, with sufferers often unable to make out people’s faces until they come up close. It can also cause glare, for example from car headlights at night, and can affect how people perceive colour. Symptoms will depend on where the cataract is located in the lens and how dense it is.


Causes

  • Age related changes
  • Trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Inflammation (such as uveitis)
  • UV radiation (from the sun)
  • Certain eye tumours
  • Degenerative eye diseases (such as retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Systemic diseases

Diagnosis

The cause of the cataract must be determined as well as establishing whether or not the cataract is responsible for the patient’s vision loss and ruling out any other eye conditions. We will then be able to decide whether vision can be improved by surgically removing the clouded lens.

The patient’s medical history will be taken into account and a full eye exam will be carried out covering near and distance vision and pupil reaction. Other tests include ocular fundus (which looks at the back of the eye), a macular OCT (which maps out the surface of the retina) and ultrasound, amongst others.


Treatment

Surgery is the only effective option for treating cataract. It is fast and highly effective as well as having a very low complication rate. The surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. This new lens can be personalized to correct near, middle or distance vision depending on the patient’s individual needs and can mean independence from glasses in many cases. In some cases, cataract surgery may also be performed as part of the treatment for another eye condition (such as glaucoma or uveitis).


Follow-up

Cataract on its own does not require urgent treatment, unless it is related to another eye condition (such as glaucoma). Patients who do not require cataract surgery should have an anual eye exam (unless they notice a sudden deterioration in their vision).

Related articles

Dr. Duch on trifocal intraocular lenses, the multifocal lenses trend for cataract surgery

During the second edition of “New Trends in Multifocal Surgery”, a platform for discussion regarding new trends in cataract surgery procedure and multifocal lenses that was held at the beginning of the month, Dr. Francesc Duch, Head of Refractive Surgery Department at Institut Català de Retina and coordinator of the event, highlighted the prominent place […]

Dr Duch and Dr Pedrell will take part in a round table organized by Alcon on New trends in multifocal surgery

A round table organized by Alcon, the medical equipment company, will be held in Barcelona on May 12th. The aim of the round table will be to analyse new trends in multifocal surgery for cataracts. Dr Francesc Duch, Head of the Refractive Surgery Department, and Dr Josep Mª Pedrell, Head of the Cataract Department, will […]

34th Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons

The 34th Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons started on Saturday 10th, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Members of ICR Refractive Surgery Department, led by Dr. Francesc Duch, Head of the Department, took. This year, Dr. Duch is presenting a new study carried out in collaboration with Dr. Maseras and Dr. Jürgens, Medical […]

Do you have any questions?

Contact us or request an appointment with one of our Cataract specialists.

Visit us at:

ICR Ganduxer Headquarters

c/Ganduxer,117
08022 Barcelona See map

ICR Pau Alcover

C. Pau Alcover 67
08017 Barcelona See map

ICR Terrassa

77, Del Nord St.
08221 Terrassa See map

Clínica Bonanova Surgical Center

Passeig Bonanova, 22
08022 Barcelona See map

Clinica Bonanova Tests and Treatments

c/ Mandri, 63
08022 Barcelona See map

ICR Service at Clínica Ntra. Sra. del Remei

c/ de l'Escorial,148
08024 Barcelona See map

ICR Ganduxer Headquarters

Telephone number 93 254 79 20
Emergencies phone number: 93 418 72 27

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to get there More information

ICR Pau Alcover

Telephone number (+34) 93 378 23 19

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm. Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm.

How to get there More information

ICR Terrassa

Telephone number +34 93 736 34 40

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How to get there More information

Clínica Bonanova Surgical Center

Telephone number 934 34 09 25

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

How to get there More information

Clinica Bonanova Tests and Treatments

How to get there More information

ICR Service at Clínica Ntra. Sra. del Remei

Telephone number 902 10 10 50

Opening hours:
Every day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to get there More information

This website uses cookies in order to collect statistical information regarding navigation. If you keep on surfing this website, it shall be deemed to have acknowledged its use. More information.