Cataracts are very common. They cloud the lens of the eye, affecting vision, and are usually a consequence of ageing. Sometimes a cataract may form in younger patients as a result of trauma, intraocular surgery, repeated ocular inflammation, high myopia, diabetes, etc. All cataracts require treatment if they affect vision.
The main symptom of a cataract is a progressive decrease in vision. Other symptoms can be a sensitivity to light, difficulty focusing between near and far objects and muted colour vision.
Depending on the size and location of opaque areas on the crystalline lens, the patient may or may not notice the development of a cataract. These are some of the most common symptoms:
Blurred and sometimes double vision when a cataract is forming.
Photophobia (sensitivity to light).
Better vision on cloudy days than on sunny days.
Glasses are no longer required for near vision.
Driving at night becomes more difficult.
Problems recognising faces
Prescription glasses need to be changed more frequently.
After the age of 50, myopia may worsen, or alternatively, eyesight may inexplicably improve. This occurs because the cataract can cause some changes to the lens, creating a magnifying glass effect.
The only way to treat a cataract is through surgery. The procedure is not simple, but as ophthalmologists perform it routinely they can offer very good results. We perform the procedure either with an injection of local anaesthetic or anaesthetic eye drops. We inject the local anaesthetic around the eye, which numbs and paralyses the eye, preventing movement. During the operation we may use some intravenous medication to induce drowsiness and relaxed to prevent any pain.
During the operation the surgeon removes the opaque lens from the eye using a special ultrasound machine (phacoemulsification) and then replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens. Prior to surgery, we measure the eye to determine the specific implant size. In some cases we need to put a small stitch in the eye that we will remove a few days later at the clinic.
Phaco cataract surgery, step 1, the cataract blade is used to make a tiny incision into the eye for a port for the phaco tip
Phaco cataract surgery, step 2, the phaco probe is passed through the corneal incision
Phaco cataract surgery, step 3. The phaco probe is used to remove the cataract.
The intraoculatr lens enables the eye to see clearly
We place the intraocular lens (IOL) into a small sac inside the eye which was previously part of the capsule of the original lens. Before the operation, this sac contains the lens and afterwards it will contain the IOL. Over time (sometimes months, sometimes years), the surface of the sac can get cloudy as well, and blur vision again (posterior capsule opacification). This is completely normal and the treatment is simple using a laser in clinic. That treatment is called a YAG laser capsulotomy.
After the operation, we recommend you wear an eye pad for 24 hours, followed by administering eye drops for a few weeks and a follow-up visit to the clinic to check the results.
Removing the cataract allows you to see more light and enables you to focus and have a clear vision again.
Our product range includes:
Cataract and glaucoma treatment
Talk to us about your options on 020 7935 7990
The best way to figure out whether this is something for you is to give us a call. We can answer any questions you have and help you clarify which treatment options are best for you.
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