What is a cataract?
A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. You may experience blurred or cloudy vision, making it difficult to perform activities like reading and driving.
What are the symptoms?
Some common symptoms include blurred vision, sensitivity to light and double vision in one eye.
How can cataracts be treated?
Currently, the only effective way to treat cataracts is to have them surgically removed. Before your ophthalmologist recommends surgery, however, she will perform a thorough eye examination to see if the procedure is the best option. This ophthalmologic examination includes:
- Visual acuity test: An eye chart is used to measure if your vision is impaired. Slit-lamp examination: Your doctor will use a special microscope to look at the structures at the front of your eye under magnification. In this test, the cornea, iris, lens, and space between the iris and cornea are illuminated so that any abnormalities can be detected. Retinal exam: During a retinal exam, drops are placed in the eyes in order to dilate the pupils. Your doctor can then examine your lens for signs of a cataract, as well as look for other retinal diseases.
How does the surgery work?
During cataract eye surgery, your surgeon will remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens.
In most cases you will be given sedation, and either drops or a local anaesthetic injection so that the eye is numb during the surgery.
Your surgeon will make a small micro-incision in the front part of the eye, through which a small surgical tool will be inserted. Phacoemulsfication(ultrasound energy) is used to break up the cataract, which is then removed through the micro-incision. An artificial lens is inserted into the eye. This lens is calculated to try and reduce your need for glasses after surgery. It is important to discuss the type of lens that you would like to have implanted in your eye when you consult with your ophthalmologist. in most cases it is not necessary to stitch the wound at the end of the procedure because the micro-incision is self sealing.
What to expect after the surgery?
It is quite normal to feel a little discomfort for a few days after the procedure. You will be given drops to reduce the discomfort and to prevent an infection. In most cases you will have good vision the day after surgery, resume normal activity a week after surgery and your surgeon will confirm when it is safe to resume driving. You will be required to attend a follow up consultation 1 day, 1 week and 1 month after the surgery.
If your are concerned that you may have a cataract then please contact us for an appointment