What is A Secondary Cataract?

Occasionally, patients who has went through cataract surgery starts feeling the same symptoms as during cataract earlier. They mistake this as regrown cataract. This impairment of vision after the cataract surgery may occur a number of weeks or months later their surgery.

Before proceeding to the details about reasons, symptoms and remedy of secondary cataract, it is preferable to get to know about cataract surgery and its procedure relevant to eye anatomy. For detailed information read the article at huntervision.com.

A clear membrane called, lens capsule, hosts the crystalline lens of the eye inside itself. During cataract surgery, a major part of the covering lens in front position is eliminated by the surgeons to reach the inside clouded lens. The method involves breakdown of cloudy lens and replacement with a clear intraocular lens (IOL) is achieved.

This replacement of affected lens with IOL is done directly above the posterior section of lens capsule and it does not affect the posterior region.

In rare cases the patient develops posterior capsular opacification (PCO) after an unpredictable period post cataract surgery ranging from few months to several years. This is not a regrown cataract in any case, but a cloudiness in the posterior lens capsule, left intact during cataract surgery. Other terms used for PCO includes after-cataract or secondary-cataract.

What are causes of secondary cataract?

Phenomenon of secondary cataract takes place as a result of proliferation in the epithelial cells of the posterior lens capsule or in the new capsule supporting it. But it is not same as the cataract removed previously.

It cannot be anticipated that secondary cataract will develop in which patient at what time after surgery. But usually it has been observed that younger patients recovered from a cataract surgery can be victims of this after-cataract.

It is strongly recommended to consult an ophthalmologist, if any problem in vision is faced after cataract surgery.

What are the signs of secondary cataract?

As it is misunderstood as regrown cataract, symptoms are alike with the cataract as given below:

  • Defect in visual perceptiveness resulting into impaired near or far vision in one or both eyes.
  • Blindness, particularly with frontal lights at nighttime.
  • Trouble in the discernment of colors.
  • Blurred or opaque sight.

What is the remedy?

Usually practiced and suggested treatment for secondary cataract is to go through a capulotomy.

Initially an ophthalmologist uses eye drops for dilation of the pupil and later after achieving the dilation, head is placed on the laser. This laser treatment involves the Nd: YAG laser for creating an incision in the posterior capsule. Ophthalmologist cuts and removes a small portion on the posterior capsule to permit the light to enter by the retina directly.

Moreover, proper assessment of the patient’s medical history and vision distortion extent is carried out prior to the laser treatment to avoid any potential risk.

What can be expected after the laser treatment?

The Nd:YAG laser intervention is actually a quick and painless treatment for the patients of secondary cataract. Patient does not need to be hospitalized before and after the treatment. It can be carried out in short duration. Though, control measures are mandatory in case suggested by ophthalmologist.

Perhaps, patients can experience blurred vision in the passing days after laser treatment. In case of witnessing flash lights, eye floaters or a dark shutter moving up and down and on sides, immediate contact with an ophthalmologist is strongly advised to rule out any expected risks.

Author's Bio: 

I am an addicted author and social media enthusiast. I love to work while traveling. I am short but sweet.