Lenses for cataracts in adults

With cataracts, peo­ple grad­u­al­ly lose their sight. Can it be cor­rect­ed with con­tact lens­es? And what should they be? Find out with an expert
Lenses for cataracts in adults
An oph­thal­mol­o­gist will help you choose the right lens­es for cataracts. Pho­to: Glob­al­look­press

Can lenses be worn with cataracts?

The term “cataract” refers to a patho­log­i­cal con­di­tion in which the lens, which in the nor­mal state should be com­plete­ly trans­par­ent, begins to become cloudy. It may become cloudy par­tial­ly or com­plete­ly. It depends on the degree of visu­al impair­ment. The eye is sim­i­lar in struc­ture to a cam­era. Under the cornea is a nat­ur­al lens — the lens, which is absolute­ly trans­par­ent and flex­i­ble, it can change its cur­va­ture in order to clear­ly focus the image on the sur­face of the reti­na. If the lens, for var­i­ous rea­sons, los­es its trans­paren­cy, becomes cloudy, this sig­nif­i­cant­ly affects its func­tion­al­i­ty.

Against the back­ground of a cataract, the use of lens­es is pos­si­ble in two cas­es — in the pres­ence of addi­tion­al prob­lems with vision or after surgery has been per­formed on the lens.

Con­tact lens­es against the back­ground of cataracts can be rec­om­mend­ed for peo­ple who also suf­fer from myopia, hyper­opia, astig­ma­tism. But when using lens­es, there are cer­tain prob­lems — due to them, the access of oxy­gen to the eye sur­faces is reduced, which, against the back­ground of cataracts, can be an unfa­vor­able fac­tor. How­ev­er, some types of lens­es have pro­tec­tion against ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion, which can adverse­ly affect the course of cataracts, accel­er­at­ing its mat­u­ra­tion. There­fore, the approach to wear­ing lens­es in this pathol­o­gy is indi­vid­ual.

In the post­op­er­a­tive peri­od, the indi­ca­tion for wear­ing con­tact lens­es will be the absence of the lens in the eye. In cataract surgery, the doc­tor com­plete­ly removes the lens, unless it is replaced with an arti­fi­cial one, the eye can­not focus the image on the reti­na. Glass­es, intraoc­u­lar lens­es (implantable) or con­tact lens­es can be used to cor­rect this prob­lem. They are select­ed indi­vid­u­al­ly and only with a doc­tor.

Which lenses are best for cataracts?

After the lens is sur­gi­cal­ly removed, two types of lens­es can be used to cor­rect vision:

  • hard lens­es (gas per­me­able);
  • sil­i­cone soft lens­es.

In the absence of com­pli­ca­tions, the use of con­tact lens­es is pos­si­ble already 7–10 days after cataract surgery. Rigid lens types are some­times rec­om­mend­ed for peo­ple who have had surgery under local anes­the­sia. With soft lens­es, there is no such prob­lem; they are easy to put on in the morn­ing after wak­ing up.

To the point

Cataract of the eye: the main symp­toms that should alert you

At first, you need to wear lens­es part of the day. If the oper­a­tion was bilat­er­al, then it is pos­si­ble to install two dif­fer­ent lens­es — one for clear vision of dis­tant objects, the sec­ond — for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of near vision. A sim­i­lar pro­ce­dure is called “mono­vi­sion”, but lens­es can only be select­ed for far or near vision, and glass­es are also rec­om­mend­ed to cor­rect remain­ing prob­lems.

How are cataract lenses different from regular lenses?

Dur­ing the sur­gi­cal removal of a cataract, we are talk­ing about intraoc­u­lar lens­es that are placed in place of your own lens, which has ceased to per­form its func­tions. These lens­es, unlike con­tact lens­es, are implant­ed in place of the removed lens and stay there for­ev­er. They do not need to be tak­en out and put back in, they com­plete­ly replace the lens. But such an oper­a­tion may not be indi­cat­ed for all patients.

On a note

How to choose good biweek­ly con­tact lens­es

Reviews of doctors about lenses for cataracts

“Of course, speak­ing about the use of lens­es for cataracts, we pre­fer intraoc­u­lar lens­es, which allows us to restore visu­al func­tions to the patient,” says oph­thal­mol­o­gist Olga Glad­ko­va. – Cur­rent­ly, there are oper­a­tions to replace the trans­par­ent lens with an intraoc­u­lar lens in order to cor­rect high-grade visu­al impair­ment when ker­a­tore­frac­tive surgery does not give a good result.

Popular questions and answers

We dis­cussed with oph­thal­mol­o­gist Olga Glad­ko­va issues of wear­ing con­tact lens­es for cataracts, the main con­traindi­ca­tions to their use and fea­tures of choice.

Are there any contraindications for wearing lenses for cataracts?

Among the con­traindi­ca­tions are:

● inflam­ma­to­ry process­es in the ante­ri­or seg­ment of the eye (acute or chron­ic con­junc­tivi­tis, ble­phar­i­tis, ker­ati­tis, uveitis);
● dry eye syn­drome;
● obstruc­tion of the lacrimal ducts;
● pres­ence of decom­pen­sat­ed glau­co­ma;
● ker­a­to­conus 2 — 3 degrees;
● the pres­ence of a mature cataract.

What is better for cataracts — lenses or glasses?

Nei­ther the use of glass­es nor the wear­ing of con­tact lens­es for cataracts will give clear vision. There­fore, it is prefer­able to have a cloudy lens replace­ment surgery with an intraoc­u­lar lens to ensure clear vision.

Will the operation to install an artificial lens solve all vision problems or will you still need glasses or contact lenses?

After lens replace­ment surgery, an addi­tion­al cor­rec­tion for dis­tance or near will be required, since the intraoc­u­lar lens can­not ful­ly per­form the func­tion of the lens. This prob­lem is eas­i­ly solved by choos­ing read­ing glass­es or mono vision con­tact lens­es.

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