A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, which leads to blockage of the light entering the eye.
- Sun exposure
- Eye injury
- Steroid use
- Genetics/Family history
How is cataract surgery performed?
We use the latest equipment to remove the cloudy cataract and replace it with a clear artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL).
The new lens not only restores clear vision but also reduces any pre-existing refractive error and minimises the need for glasses after the surgery.
Stages of Cataract Surgery
Stage 1 – ‘Keyhole’ surgery is used to insert an electronic probe into the eye to remove the cataract with ultrasound energy.
Stage 2 – The new clear intraocular lens is inserted and unfolded in the eye.
Stage 3 – The IOL is positioned inside the eye to clearly focus the light on the retina. The incision is self-sealing and no stitches are needed.
Possible benefits of Cataract Surgery
- Improved vision
- Improved brightness
- Improved colour (especially blues)
- Reduced need for glasses
Once you’ve decided to have surgery the biggest decision you need to make is which lenses you would like inserted. There are four common choices.
- Both eyes distance focus
- This is the most common choice.
- The lens for each eye is customised to minimise any near or long sightedness and astigmatism and provide clear focus for distance objects
- If you choose this you will have minimal need for distance glasses but will need to wear reading glasses
- Both eyes near focus
- This is the most common choice for people who have been short sighted all their life
- With this choice you will have minimal need for reading glasses, but you will need to wear distance glasses
- One eye distance, one eye near (monovision)
- While this sounds like it would confuse your brain, 80% of people adapt to it very well and achieve excellent results
- Typically people still need a pair of reading glasses for very fine print.
- Side effects of this choice can include a mild loss of depth perception.
- Multifocal intraocular lenses
- Recent advances in lens technology have led to the development of these excellent lenses
- Patients typically achieve 90% spectacle independence and this will give you the ability to see clearly at both distance and near without glasses.
- Side effects of these lenses can include halos around lights at night and mild loss of contrast
- These lenses are not ideal for people with high visual demands or that do a lot of night time driving
What to expect during surgery
- The surgery is done under local anaesthetic
- In theatre your face will be covered with a drape, you will be able to hear the staff talking and the operation with take 20-30 minutes
- The operation is painless
Potential Complications of Surgery
Cataract surgery is very safe and serious complications are rare. Improvement in vision will occur for 98% of patients.
Reduced vision can occur in 1% of operations; a second operation is needed for repair in 1%; a serious infection inside your eye can occur, but this is rare – approximately 1 in 1200 cases.
Retinal tears, detachments or swelling of the macular can also occur.
What to expect after surgery
- Quick recovery and a return to normal activities in one week
- Mild irritation for one week
- Mild redness for one week
- Small amount of visible bleeding for two weeks
- Using eye drops for one month
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside your eye. This is a natural part of aging and cataract surgery is a safe and common procedure. Using the latest technologies and the highest quality lenses I can offer an extremely high chance of improving your vision.