What exactly is a Cataract?
Cataracts usually take a long time to develop - months and even years. Cataracts are changes in the clarity of the natural lens within the eyes which prevent light from reaching the retina and interfere with vision. Sooner or later cataracts affect almost everyone.
The lens of the eye is made of mostly water and proteins. As ageing occurs the proteins clump together and cause cloudiness. Other contributing factors may include; family history, eye surgery, punctures wounds, medications such as corticosteroids, chronic inflammation and diabetes, though ageing is the main factor.
In addition, smokers as opposed to non-smokers have a higher rate of cataract occurrence.
Effects and Symptoms:
- Dim, blurry or clouded vision
- Reduced night vision
- Increased sensitivity to bright sunlight or car headlights
- Halo effect around lights
- A need for brighter light when reading or doing other things
- Increased frequency of changes in your contact lens or spectacle prescriptions
- Double vision or perhaps ghost images in one eye
- Fading or yellowing of colour perception
The treatment for cataracts can vary depending on how advanced the individual cataract’s. Vision can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses prior to the need for cataract lens implant surgery in early stages. However the only treatment for a visually significant cataract is surgical removal. Advanced cataracts cloud the natural lens and spectacle correction may not improve vision.
A cataract operation involves the removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial Intra-ocular lens (IOL) implant. Phacoemulsification involves a tiny incision in the eye through which the cataract is broken up by ultrasound and vacuumed out. A folded IOL is inserted through the same incision which unfolds within the eye. In the vast majority of cases, patients have better vision after their cataract surgery.
Cataract procedures at Vision Centre take about 20 to 30 minutes and the whole procedure - from entering the day surgery to returning home - usually only takes 2 – 2.5 hours. You will not be able to drive after the surgery and should make suitable arrangements for your return home.
For more information: https://ranzco.edu/ophthalmology-and-eye-health/eye-conditions.