A cataract is a cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. This can cause blurry vision and difficulty seeing clearly. A secondary cataract is a cataract that develops after initial cataract surgery. If you are experiencing vision problems following your original surgery, it is important to see your doctor to determine if you have developed a secondary cataract. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms and treatment of secondary cataracts.
What Is a Secondary Cataract?
Seen most often in people over the age of 60, a secondary cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that can develop years after surgery to remove a primary cataract. A secondary cataract forms when the back surface of the clear lens implant becomes cloudy.
While a cataract is developing, light enters the eye through the clear front surface of the lens and is focused onto the retina at the back of your eye. When a cataract develops, this process is disrupted because light scatters as it passes through a cloudy lens. As more opacities form and vision deteriorates, surgery may be needed to remove the natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL).
This is also most commonly called one of the side effects of cataract surgery. It is important to have regular eye exams after cataract surgery so that your eye care professional can monitor any changes in your vision.
Types of Secondary Cataract
There are two types of secondary cataracts: nuclear sclerotic cataracts and posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Nuclear sclerotic cataracts form in the nucleus, or center, of your eye’s lens. They tend to develop slowly and may not be noticeable at first. But as they progress, nuclear sclerotic cataracts can make your vision cloudy and yellowish-brown.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts form on the back surface of your eye’s lens. They often develop quickly and can cause symptoms such as glare and trouble seeing at night. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are more common in people with diabetes or who take certain medications, such as steroids.
If you have a nuclear sclerotic cataract, lying down or looking up may make your symptoms worse. And if you have a posterior subcapsular cataract, looking down may worsen your symptoms.
Signs of Secondary Cataract
There are many different signs and symptoms of secondary cataract, which can include:
one of the most common signs of secondary cataracts is blurry vision. This can make it difficult to see both up close and far away.
Glare and Halos
Another symptom of secondary cataracts is glare and halos. This means that when you look at lights, they may appear brighter than usual and have a halo or ring around them. You may also notice that your vision is more sensitive to light in general.
Poor Night Vision
If you have a secondary cataract, you may also have poor night vision. This can make it difficult to drive at night or even just to see clearly in low-light conditions. Sometimes there are also “floaters” which are small pieces of debris that seem to float in your field of vision.
Changes in Color Perception
Yet another symptom of secondary cataracts is changing in color perception. This means that colors may not appear as bright as they used to and contrast can be decreased.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see an eye doctor right away. They will be able to diagnose the problem and determine the best course of treatment. Secondary cataracts are treatable, so don’t delay in getting help if you think you may have them.
Causes of Secondary Cataracts
Severe nearsightedness, also called myopia, is the most common cause of a secondary cataract.
Other causes include:
One of the most common causes of secondary cataracts is diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the lens of your eye and lead to a cataract.
Eye Injury or Surgery
Another cause of a secondary cataract is an injury to the eye or previous eye surgery. Any type of trauma to the eye can cause a cataract to form, so it’s important to be careful and protect your eyes from injury.
An additional cause of secondary cataracts is certain medications. These can include steroids, beta-blockers, and antipsychotic drugs. If you take any of these medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks.
An additional cause of secondary cataracts is certain medications. These can include steroids, beta-blockers, and antipsychotic drugs. If you take any of these medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks. These also include steroids, beta-blockers, and antipsychotic drugs.
Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
Another potential cause of a secondary cataract is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This is the type of light that comes from the sun, so it’s important to wear sunglasses and a hat when you’re outside to protect your eyes.
Secondary cataracts are more likely to form if you spend a lot of time looking in one direction, such as when you’re reading or using a computer. That’s because the position of your eyes changes the shape of your lens, which can cause cloudy areas to develop.
Different Problems After Secondary Cataract
Different problems can occur after secondary cataract surgery. These include:
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
This is one of the most common problems after surgery. It usually happens because the clouding comes back, but it can also be due to other factors such as changes in the shape of your eye. Sometimes, these changes can be permanent.
Light To Sensitivity
An increase in light sensitivity is another common problem. This can be caused by the clouding coming back, but it can also be due to other factors such as inflammation or healing.
Allergies are a common cause of secondary cataracts. If you suffer from allergies, you may be at risk for this condition. Allergies can cause the proteins in your tears to break down, which can lead to cataract formation. Treatment for allergies includes avoidance of triggers, medications, and immunotherapy.
Another common impact of a secondary cataract is dry eyes. This happens when the eye’s tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to wear contact lenses or keep your eyes open for long periods.
Sometimes, increased pressure in your eye can cause pain in your head. This is especially true if you have other health conditions that affect the pressure in your skull, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to tell if your headaches are being caused by increased pressure in your eye and can offer treatments to help ease the pain.
As the cloudiness from a secondary cataract grows, it will begin to interfere with your vision. You may start noticing that objects appear blurry or that it’s difficult to see at night. If you experience any changes in your vision, be sure to talk to your doctor so they can determine if a cataract is a cause.
How Many Times Can One Get Secondary Cataracts?
The prevalence of developing a secondary cataract is about 50% for those who have had uneventful primary cataract surgery. So, if you’ve already had surgery to remove a cataract, you’re at an increased risk of developing another one. And unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent a secondary cataract from developing.
But the good news is that secondary cataracts can be treated just like primary cataracts—with surgery. The surgery to remove a secondary cataract is often simpler and quicker than the original surgery since the cloudy lens has already been removed. And as with primary cataract surgery, you can expect your vision to improve significantly after having a secondary cataract removed.
If you think you may have a secondary cataract, schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can take a closer look and determine the best course of treatment for you. Don’t wait too long to get help, as Secondary Cataracts can cause serious vision problems if left untreated.
Treatment Options For Secondary Cataract
There are many different treatment options available for secondary cataracts. The most common and effective treatment is surgery. Surgery can be performed in several different ways, depending on the severity of the cataract and the preferences of the patient. In most cases, surgery is very successful in treating secondary cataracts and restoring vision. Other treatments for secondary cataracts include medications, lasers, and other therapies.
Medications are one treatment option for secondary cataracts. Several different medications can be used to treat this condition. The most common and effective medication is called an anti-VEGF agent. This type of medication works by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels in the eye, which can help to reduce the severity of the cataract. Other medications that may be used to treat secondary cataracts include steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antibiotics.
Lasers are another treatment option for secondary cataracts. lasers can be used to shrink the size of the cataract or to break up the cloudy lens material. Laser surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis and is often very successful in treating secondary cataracts.
Several other therapies can be used to treat secondary cataracts. These include vitrectomy, photodynamic therapy, and thermal laser therapy. Vitrectomy is a type of surgery that involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye. This can help to improve vision in some cases. Photodynamic therapy uses light and a photosensitive drug to kill cells in the eye that are causing the cataract. Thermal laser therapy uses heat to destroy the cloudy lens material.
Can Secondary Cataracts Be Prevented?
There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of developing secondary cataracts, including:
Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays when you’re outdoors
Wearing one of more of the following: a hat with a brim, a visor, or eyeglasses. Sometimes special eyeglasses with UV-blocking lenses are recommended. These are also called “blue-blockers.”
Avoiding eye injuries
Avoiding eye injuries can be difficult, but it’s important to do what you can to protect your eyes. Wearing safety goggles when participating in activities where there is a risk of eye injury is one way to help prevent this type of injury.
Eating a healthy diet
Several different nutrients are important for eye health, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Eating foods that are rich in these nutrients can help to improve your overall eye health and may help to reduce your risk of developing secondary cataracts. Some good sources of these nutrients include leafy green vegetables, oranges, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Smoking is bad for your overall health and can also increase your risk of developing secondary cataracts. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. There are several resources available to help you quit smoking.
Try to reduce your exposure to light
Exposing your eyes to bright light, including sunlight, can increase your risk of developing cataracts. If you are exposed to bright light regularly, try to wear sunglasses or other eye protection to help reduce your exposure.
Secondary cataracts are a common condition that can cause vision problems. There are several different treatment options available, including surgery, medications, lasers, and other therapies. In most cases, secondary cataracts can be successfully treated and vision can be restored. There are also a few things you can do to lower your risk of developing this condition, such as wearing sunglasses and eating a healthy diet. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
Cataract surgery is a safe and painless procedure. At EyeMantra we have a team of experienced eye surgeons, who will be happy to answer your questions on cataract surgery, cataract surgery cost, and cataract lens cost for different cataract surgery types- Phacoemulsification, MICS & Femto Laser Cataract. Call us at +91-9711116605 or email at [email protected] for inquiries.