Most commonly experienced by patients over the age of 60, a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which causes vision to gradually deteriorate. In the majority of cases, cataracts are linked to age as a natural element of the aging process. Whilst many cataracts are small and don’t affect our vision, more severe cases can cause significant obstructions.
Whilst most cataracts are related to the aging process, other types of cataracts may form, including traumatic cataract (which develops after an eye injury), congenital cataract (occurs at birth or is developed in childhood) and radiation cataract (occurs following excessive exposure to radiation). Risk factors include smoking, alcohol use, diabetes and excessive exposure to sunlight.
Once cataracts have been diagnosed following comprehensive eye examinations, it may be determined that they should be removed via cataract surgery. This involves the removal of the cloudy lens in the eye, replacing it with a clear, artificial implant. Cathedral Eye Clinic’s specialist consultants will assess your eyes and explain the differences to help determine which course of treatment best suits your individual needs.
The most common cataract surgery is phacoemulsification (phaco) and is usually done as a day procedure under local anaesthetic. Before the operation eye drops are given to dilate your pupil as this makes it easier for the surgeon to see the lens inside your eye. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea and the surgeon will use ultrasound energy to soften and break up the cloudy lens so it can be removed by suction.
The second type of cataract surgery is extracapsular surgery where a longer incision is made on the side of the cornea and the cloudy core of the lens is removed in one piece. After the cloudy lens has been removed it is replaced by an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). The right type of IOL will be determined using tests to measure the curve of your cornea and the shape and size of your eye. You will not see or be able to feel the new lens.
Cataract surgery is a safe operation and is carried out more than any other surgical eye procedure. Problems are rare but as with any surgery risks are carried. Possible complications can include infection, bleeding, inflammation, loss of vision, double vision and lens dislocation. These complications can be treated successfully with prompt attention. Your surgeon will explain in more detail how any risks apply to you.
- Improved vision results: The vast majority of cataract surgery patients enjoy improved clarity of vision and colour vision. This is because lens implants are selected to compensate for existing focusing problems.
- Improved safety and health: Enhanced vision results mean that cataract surgery patients typically experience less falls or accidents.
- Renewed confidence: Enjoy a new lease of life with your improved clarity of vision.
Is There A Minimum Or Maximum Age?
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Benefits of Cataract Surgery Treatment
- Greater clarity of vision and improved colour vision: Because lens implants are selected to compensate for existing focusing problems, most people find that their eyesight improves considerably after surgery but will need to replace their glasses. Reading glasses are usually needed after cataract surgery.
- Improved personal safety: Improved clarity of vision substantially reduces your chances of experiencing falls or accidents.
- New lease of life: Enjoy renewed confidence and a new lease of life with your corrected vision.
I had dense cataracts on both eyes, so bypassing the long NHS queues I had cataract surgery on both eyes within two weeks. Extremely helpful staff and highly professional surgery team. Two days after the second eye surgery and everything is clear, sharp and colourful, also perked me up after getting depressed about not being able to see. I wish I had done it sooner. Highly recommended.