An issue late after cataract is relatively common but very treatable
What is a posterior capsule lens opacity?
Sometimes the fine capsule that holds the intraocular lens becomes frosted or opaque months to years after surgery. This can cause recurrence of glare, blurring and a drop in your vision. It is called posterior capsular opacification of PCO for posterior capsule opacification. It is a common occurrence after cataract surgery but is not a real or severe complication. It is successfully treatable with laser.
The rate of PCO differs between children and adults, children having a much higher rate. Some patients will have intrinsic capsule opacity even on the day of surgery of the cataract is right at the back of the human lens, a cataract known as a posterior subcapsular cataract.
You should see your ophthalmologist Mr Jaheed Khan or Miss Laura Crawley, who did your surgery, for examination as there are several potential causes of blurring which they also have to rule out. These other causes of blurring after cataract surgery include water swelling at the back of the eye (called macular oedema), unrelated reasons such as age-related macular degeneration, retinal vessel occlusions or new glaucoma.
You will require an examination on the slit lamp, visual acuity testing, intraocular pressure testing (called tonometry) and examination of the back of the eye, called the fundus. This will likely include retinal and disc imaging with the Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) and the Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy (SLO). Rarely a fluorescein angiogram is also required. Your surgeon will advise you.
How can you treat it?
Once the diagnosis of an opacification of the posterior capsule has been made, the ophthalmic surgeon will discuss the treatment with you.
This is a Yag Laser treatment done as an outpatient.
For the laser capsulotomy, you sit on a chair in front of the standard examination slit lamp that has a special laser attachment. Your position is adjusted so that your chin is gently seated on a chin rest, forehead on a band. A particular lens is positioned on the front of the eye so that the laser can be focussed very precisely on the frosting. Some gel is used to float this lens on the surface of the eye.
This is done here at Clinica London by the Ophthalmic surgeon who did your cataract surgery. Laser capsulotomy has few side effects and is very safe. You will be advised about the benefits and any potential side effects before signing a consent form. The treatment procedure does not hurt, is quick and comfortable for you. After the laser, you have to have some eye drops for a few days and have the eye pressure checked. You go home the same day as it is an outpatient procedure. You will have a follow-up appointment afterwards.