Why is early detection of glaucoma so important?
The main questions about cataracts, the eye pathology with the highest incidence in the population, have been resolved in the first chapter of Descansa la vista, Barraquer's new podcast. The main doubts in the field of vision will be addressed in the podcasts to reinforce the dissemination of eye health with a higher level of accessibility and closeness.
Every month, specialists from the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre alongside experts who bring a broader approach, will take the mic to provide information that is valuable and useful for the whole public. Descansa la Vista will invite eye doctors and surgeons, ophthalmologists and contactologists, in addition to patients, doctors in different specialist areas and other health care workers, to share all of the Barraquer Centre’s knowledge with a multidisciplinary focus and educational spirit.
The first episode, Cataracts: what you need to know , is now available on the following podcast platforms: Ivoox, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts; on the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre website (barraquer.com) and its social networks. Plus, listeners can ask their questions about eye health on social networks using the hashtag #DescansaLaVista, so they can be included and answered on upcoming episodes.
A podcast for the public
Cataracts are an ocular pathology that affects the entire population, since it is part of the natural process of tissue degeneration. This condition generally appears after the age of 65 when the crystalline lens, the natural lens of the eye, gradually causes blurred vision due to the loss of its transparency. Current surgical techniques performed by expert teams, in addition to removing the cataract itself, reduce the patient's dioptres with the implantation of a personalized intraocular lens in the crystalline lens.
Dr. Jose Lamarca, an ophthalmologist in the Cataract area of the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre, warns about the difficulty of preventing them: “It is difficult to recommend real measures. We know that sun exposure is harmful to the eyes, so protecting ourselves properly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle could help delay its appearance, but there is no evidence that these are determining factors.”
How is the cataract surgery?
Once the diagnosis has been made in any routine check-up with the ophthalmologist, the definitive treatment is surgery. “Cataract surgery needs to be demystified. Before it was not operated on until it was very advanced and hard, but now we treat it in the early stages, when it is still soft, and this allows us to perform shorter surgeries, much less invasive, with very small incisions and without stitches” explains Dr. Lamarca.
In the surgery, which lasts about 20 minutes, the opacified content of the crystalline lens (cataract) is removed and replaced by an intraocular lens that also allows the eye prescription to be reduced as much as possible. For this reason, cataract surgery is a great opportunity to change the optical properties of the eye: with an exhaustive preoperative, a wide range of lenses to choose from and the use of refined calculation systems for refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism), many of the patients even manage to dispense with glasses after the operation, in addition to eliminating the cataract itself.
This procedure, as long as it is performed by a team of highly specialized ophthalmologists, is fast, safe and ostensibly improves the patient's quality of life. On the first postoperative day, the eye that undergoes surgery is uncovered, and will already have acceptable visual acuity that will improve through a neuroadaptation process that lasts between 6 months and a year. For this reason, the patient is not definitively discharged until one year after the intervention.
Cataracts are an eye condition that will affect 100% of the population and surgery is its only treatment. But this common procedure continues to cause a great deal of concern to patients because of lack of awareness and due to a large number of false myths that must be debunked.