Cataracts occur when the lens in the eyes become cloudy, either completely or partially, and they generally appear as people age.
When the lens becomes clouded, vision can weaken and thus become blurred.
Treatment for cataracts is usually a simple cataract surgery, which is often performed as a day-case procedure with a local anaesthetic.
During cataract surgery, the resposnible surgeon will insert a diminutive cut in the patient's affected eye in order for the cloudy lens to be replaced with a clear, artificial plastic lens. Depending on whether you have cataract surgery privately or not, the replacement lenses inserted may be either multifocal or monofocal.
Cataract surgery is a routine, straightforward surgical procedure that typically lasts between 30 to 45 minutes. More often than not, patients who undergo cataract surgery can go home on the same day of the surgery.
In special circumstances, where patients are suffering from cataracts in both eyes, the patient may be recommended to undergo an immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery, where the two eyes are treated on the same day. This option will be discussed and consulted between the surgeon and patient as this type of cataract surgery is normally only recommended for people who are considered to have a low risk of complications.
Otherwise, cataract surgery is performed between six to 12 weeks apart to enable one eye to fully recover before the second eye is operated on.
Prior to undergoing cataract surgery, the patient will need to be referred to a specialist eye surgeon in order to undergo an eye assessment to determine the patient's measurements of their eyes and overall eyesight.
There are many benefits of undergoing cataract surgery, with the main ones including:
- patients being able to see objects in focus
- patients being able to look into bright lights and not suffer from as much glare
- patients will be able to easily distinguish colours
The main risks of cataract surgery are as follows:
- blurred vision
- some vision loss
- detached retina
Ophthalmologists are responsible for performing cataract surgery.