There is an internal lens which sits inside your eye and focuses the light on to your retina. This system provides you with clear vision. Cataract is a normal part of the eye's ageing and occurs when the structure of this internal lenses becomes cloudy. With age our lens becomes thicker and less transparent resulting in a loss of vision.
The condition is progressive so over time vision will become dull and blurry similar to looking through a dirty window. Cataract should be treated when it begins to impact on your everyday quality of life.
Signs of Cataract :
|→||Gradual deterioration in the quality of vision.|
|→||Hazy or cloudy vision.|
|→||Faded colour perception.|
|→||Increased sensitivity to bright light.|
|→||Frequent changes to you spectacle prescription.|
There is no medical treatment to delay or prevent the formation of a cataract. The only option is to remove the cloudy, natural lens and replace it with an artificial, intraocular lens. Once this is done both your vision and your quality of life should improve.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common, the safest and the most effective types of surgery in the world. The cloudy natural lens is removed and the artificial intra ocular lens is installed via a tiny incision at the edge of the eye. This incision is usually self-sealing, with no stitches, which allows for a fast and easy recovery.
The entire procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes and with the use of anaesthetics it is totally pain-free.
The intraocular lens is an amazing piece of technology. Made of an acrylic-type material they mimic the refractive properties of your natural lens, focusing the light on the retina and providing clear vision after surgery. The intraocular lens is inserted during the surgery through a micro incision only about 2mm in size.
At The Medical Eye Clinic we can accurately calculate the exact power of intraocular lens your eye will need to have light focused correctly often providing fantastic distance vision without glasses. It is normal that with standard intraocular lenses reading glasses may still need to be used; however with improved technology we can now supply multi focal lenses by ZEISS that can also help combat these near vision difficulties as well. We can also supply a specialist "toric" lens which helps correct the vision for those patients who have astigmatism in their prescription.
Cataract surgery is usually conducted on a outpatient basis. The surgery will take place onsite at The Medical Eye Clinic.
The Medical Eye Clinic boasts the most advanced ZEISS cataract suite in the UK. Our surgical theater environment is of the highest standard with anti-bacterial walls, sealed anti-bacterial ceilings and an air filtration system that cleans the air up to 50 times per hour. We are proud to conform to the standards set by The Care Quality Commission.
You will be fully awake; however with the use of anesthetics you will be comfortable and feel no pain.
Sedation is possible but rarely necessary
There will be some measurement taken before the operation and there is a short period of observation afterwards, however the surgery itself usually only lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.
Usually the surgeon will have placed a patch or protective shield on your eye after surgery. It is sensible to avoid rubbing or pressing your eye.
You will be given some eye drops to help your eye remain comfortable and to prevent infection and you will be given instructions on how to use these after the surgery. It is, of course, not unusual for your eye to feel irritated or sensitive.
After surgery it is essential that you plan to have someone else drive you home. It is also advisable to spend the next 24 hours with another person.
You must avoid any strenuous activities such as bending and lifting. The rest of the day is a time to relax !
• Sudden or persistent pain in the operated eye.
• Any unusual headaches or nausea.
• Significant and worsening redness in the operated eye.
• Shadows or floaters across your vision.
You should receive a telephone appointment from The Medical Eye Clinic the day after your surgery. This is just to check that you are not experiencing any unusual problems.
You will then receive another telephone call after approximately two weeks. This may be from The Medical Eye Clinic or alternatively may be made by your own optometrist.
After six to eight weeks a full assessment of your eyes will be needed. This can be done at The Medical Eye Clinic or at your own optometrists. Our staff will advise you of the best place for this final appointment on an individual basis.
You should be able to resume most normal activities, including light work, watching television and reading the day after surgery. Avoid activities that put pressure on your eye or that raise your blood pressure.
• Use your eye drops as advised. • Do not rub the operated eye. • Avoid activities where there is a risk of blunt trauma. • Avoid dusty environments. • Wear good quality sunglasses or other protective eye wear.
Avoid direct contact with water and if water does enter the operated eye do not rub it. If you have specific physical activities check with your doctor when they can be resumed.