"Delaying the operation until the patient does not see anything means that the cataract reaches a very advanced stage and there is a greater possibility of complications during surgery".


Cataract is the opacification of the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens is a transparent tissue inside the eye that is shaped like a lens and is used to focus at a distance and at close range.

Over the years, it loses some of its effectiveness, requiring the patient to read with glasses and, subsequently, it loses its transparency.

Cataracts produce loss of vision and are the main cause of curable blindness, being more frequent in people with diabetes or in treatment with certain drugs such as corticoids.

Cataract surgery is quick and with minimal risk to the patient.

At the Clinic we do not have a waiting list and we have extensive experience in this surgery, especially in advanced cataracts, with pseudo-exfoliation, previous ophthalmological surgeries, etc.

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What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Perception of blurred images, as if through a veil.
  • Loss of color intensity.
  • Distorted or double vision with one eye.
  • Increased sensitivity to light and vision of halos around lights.
  • Worsening of distant vision, sometimes accompanied by improvement of near vision without glasses relatively often.

The most common symptoms are:       

  • Blurred vision.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Vision of halos around the lights.
  • Worsening of distant vision.  

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have cataracts

What are the causes of cataracts?

The most frequent cause is the aging of the crystalline lens, being the risk factors :

  • Advanced age.
  • High myopia.
  • Smoking.
  • Treatment with corticoids.
  • Outdoor work (greater exposure to ultraviolet radiation).
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Hereditary component.

Cataracts in diabetics

There are two types of cataracts in diabetes: metabolic (or snowflake) and senile.

Metabolic cataracts occur in younger people, even in children whose diabetes is not adequately controlled and causes extreme hyperglycemia. Senile cataracts occur in older patients and are similar to the cataracts of the non-diabetic patient.

Cataracts occur at less advanced ages and progress more rapidly in diabetics. Some young insulin-dependent diabetics occasionally develop metabolic cataracts that may diminish or disappear as blood sugar control improves.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

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The diagnosis is made through a standard ophthalmological examination.

This includes a slit-lamp examination of the anterior segment of the eye and pupil dilation, to detect the exact location, density and extent of its opacity, and other corneal or iris level alterations that can help predict possible post-operative incidents or complications.

How is the cataract operation?

There is no pharmacological treatment for cataracts. Once they have been started, no medication can cure them or prevent them from evolving. The only effective treatment is surgery.

The usual technique for operating on cataracts, which lasts about 15 minutes, is phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implants under topical anaesthesia. Once the eye is anesthetized -in many cases simply with eye drops or anesthetic drops-, a small incision is made (about 3 mm) through which the crystalline lens is extracted, replacing it with a folding lens.

The patient leaves the operating room with the eye uncovered, usually without sutures and does not need to be admitted to hospital, so he can return to his normal life, avoiding physical effort and applying anti-inflammatory drops to the eye for a few weeks. The recovery of the vision is variable, beginning to see well, generally, a few hours after the intervention.

There are various types of intraocular lenses:

  • The monofocal lenses only correct the vision at a distance (usually far away).
  • Toric lenses are used to correct astigmatism.
  • Multifocal lenses allow a lesser dependence on glasses, being able to perform most activities without them.

All are good options and the choice of the right type of lens has to be personalized according to the characteristics of the eye, as well as the needs and desires of the patient. Toric and multifocal lenses are usually called Premium lenses.

Where do we treat them?


The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
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Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 30 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Our team of professionals