Cataracts, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Cataracts, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Cataract is a condition when the lens of the eye turns cloudy and the vision becomes blurry, like glass that is dewy or like smoke which can cause blindness. Cataracts are the main cause of blindness (70-80%) in Indonesia, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Indonesian Ophthalmologists (PERDAMI) and the Health Research and Development Agency (Litbangkes) in 2014-2016.

Senile cataract
This type of cataract cannot be avoided, arises due to the aging process. Like hair that turns white (gray) as you get older, this type of cataract occurs in everyone without exception.
Secondary Cataracts
This type of cataract can occur due to complications from other diseases, for example metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and other diseases in the eye such as uveitis.
Congenital Cataracts
This condition can be called "congenital". This means that babies can be born with a cloudy eye lens (most often due to infection during pregnancy) or genetic disorders.
Traumatic Cataract
Cataracts can also arise as a result of direct or indirect injury / trauma to the eye, either in the near future or years later.


Cataracts occur slowly. Initially, the turbidity in the lens was only so thin that many people did not realize that they had vision problems.

The longer, the cataracts will get thicker and cause various complaints such as:
  • Blurred and foggy vision
  • Eyes glare when they see bright light
  • It's hard to see clearly at night
  • The color becomes faded and not bright
  • Glasses sizes change frequently
  • See objects being double
  • Difficulty driving
The symptoms above are general and can occur in any type of cataract. However, if cataracts occur in babies who cannot yet express complaints, congenital cataract symptoms can also be seen if there are white or gray circles in the child's eyes. You can also expose a flashlight to the child's eyes. Usually cataracts cause the pupil to appear whitish. If there are signs like this, first consult with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.


Cataracts caused by the aging process (senile cataracts) occur due to changes in the protein in the lens. Changes in the composition and amount of protein in the lens causes cloudiness in the lens and reduces light entering the retina. Senile cataracts generally can occur from the age of 40 years. However, if there are other factors, it does not rule out cataracts in those younger than that. Apart from trauma / injury to the eye and "congenital", cataracts can occur due to:
  • Long-term use of drugs (often corticosteroids)
  • Have had eye surgery
  • Metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus
  • Smoking and drinking habits
  • Have a younger family with a history of cataracts
  • Unhealthy and malnourished eating patterns
  • Various other eye diseases
Especially for congenital cataracts (congenital), the cause is usually associated with a mother infected with measles and rubella during pregnancy. However, it can also be caused by heredity, infection, metabolic problems, diabetes, drug reactions, etc.



Cataracts can only be treated by means of surgery. The lens that experiences cloudiness will be removed and replaced with a implanted lens.

Only a doctor can state an indication of cataract in a patient, or not. The doctor will first perform a complete eye examination from the front to the nerve of the eye. Blood and heart tests can also be recommended.

If the patient is a candidate for cataract surgery, then surgery can be scheduled as soon as needed. Each patient has different needs. For example, cataracts that are still thin or small may not bother most people yet. However, patients who have jobs that rely on high precision, may need cataract surgery as soon as possible so that their activities are no longer disturbed.

There are also cataract surgeries that have a very high urgency, because there are chances of further complications if they are not done immediately. Usually this occurs in cataracts that are accelerated by certain diseases or cataracts that cause complications such as glaucoma.



Cataract surgery is fully covered by the Social Security Administration (BPJS) or free. The current cataract surgery technique that is most widely used worldwide is FACOEMULSIFICATION. In this method, a very small incision is made in the eye. Then the cloudy cataract lens is crushed and removed using ultrasonic waves. Then, a replacement artificial lens is inserted through the same incision. The time needed for cataract surgery using the phacoemulsification method is relatively short, namely 15 to 30 minutes. This method does not require stitches and the risk of complications is very small. Phacoemulsification surgery techniques can be done at Hermina Arcamanik Hospital.

Advances in science and technology make cataract surgery safer, faster, and minimizes complications. Of course, all surgical procedures carry risks. However, with the expertise of an ophthalmologist and the advancement of the technology and tools used for cataract surgery, the complication rate that occurs is getting lower. After cataract surgery, there are also some special restrictions and treatments that doctors recommend to their patients. For example, using eye drops that have been prescribed by a doctor every day, not doing heavy activities, and so on.



Cataracts occur with age, so cataracts cannot be prevented and cannot be avoided. However, the appearance of cataracts can be delayed longer. The trick is to avoid or reduce bad lifestyle such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Studies have also shown that intake of foods rich in vitamins C and E can help slow down the occurrence of cataracts. Foods that are healthy for the body as a whole can also strengthen eye health.

In addition, world researchers and scientists have also found that ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the proteins in the eye lens. So, make it a habit to wear sunglasses when you have to be exposed to the hot sun.

The tips mentioned above are not for cure. Again, cataracts can't be prevented.

This fact should also help the public not to believe the false information about cataracts that is widely circulating freely, especially on the internet. Moreover, if the information claims that cataracts can be treated without surgery.

Immediately have your eye complaints and your family's eyes checked by a trusted eye specialist who has received special education and training in the field of eye health, regular eye health check-ups at least every 6 months to 1 year and whenever there are complaints in the eye, immediately check with the nearest ophthalmologist.
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