The lens of the eye is a small transparent disc. As light passes through the lens, it is focused onto a specific part of the back of the eye (the retina). This is part of the process that gives us normal, healthy vision. A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye. It blocks light from passing through the lens, causing our vision to become blurred, distorted and unclear.
Cataract surgery is a quick and simple operation to restore vision by replacing the natural, cloudy lens of the eye with a new, artificial one. It is an excellent operation and one that really can make a huge difference to anyone who has been struggling with vision loss caused by a cataract.
Around half the people in the UK aged between 65 and 75 will have a cataract. Although a cataract can develop at any age, risk does increase with age.
You may find it is becoming hard to read or drive. You might also find yourself feeling increasingly frustrated or vulnerable as a result of having your vision impaired. If a cataract is affecting your enjoyment of daily life, your ability to do certain activities or your capacity to work, you may want to consider treatment.
Unfortunately, a cataract cannot be treated with glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery, medication or exercise. Thankfully, cataract surgery is available, and it is one of the most established (and safest) operations in the UK, with a very high success rate.
Before surgery I will see you at Circle for a consultation. We will talk about your eyesight and I will answer any questions you may have. I’ll also take some eye measurements to help us determine which lens implant is right for you.
Lens technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and there are several different lens types to choose from depending on your particular requirements. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, treatment can be tailored to your exact requirements.
Monofocal lenses are the most commonly used lenses. I use Aspheric lenses designed to give the best quality of vision. These lenses are suitable for you if you don't mind wearing reading glasses.
If you want to reduce your reliance on reading glasses, Multifocal lenses are available. They give multiple focal points in distant and near vision, and some of the very newest lenses cover intermediate vision too. While these lenses are very successful, there is a degree of compromise: some patients perceive glare and 'haloes' around lights, particularly at night. These effects often improve with time, but a minority of people can find this troublesome.
Toric lenses are designed to help astigmatism (where the front of your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football). A small degree of astigmatism is very common and almost normal, but if you have a higher than normal degree of astigmatism, you may need a toric implant. Both monofocal and multifocal lenses are available in a toric form.
Cataract surgery is one of most widely performed surgical procedures in the world, and one I have been doing for more than 25 years. During that time, I have had the privilege of seeing many thousands of people benefit from having their sight improved.
Cataract surgery is considered a very safe operation. By surgical standards it is a ‘quick’ operation, normally only taking 15 minutes or so. During the surgery, I make a tiny incision into the eye to remove the lens which has become cloudy (the cataract). An artificial lens implant is then inserted in its place.
The surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, meaning you should be able to return home after a few hours. It can take time for your vision to readjust, so I always recommend you have a friend or family member to accompany you home afterwards. You should not drive yourself home.
Sight is a truly precious thing. Throughout my career, I have seen the transformative and liberating effects of cataract surgery, restoring people's eyesight and often making colours seem even more bright and vivid afterwards.
As your eye doctor, I am committed to making sure that your surgery is the best experience it can be and that it results in the best outcome for you. With my years of carrying out eye surgery, and many thousands of successful procedures done, you can be assured that your care will be of the very highest quality.
Living with a cataract can often be incredibly frustrating and difficult, but it is reassuring to know that good, effective help is available. It is easy to see me for a consultation at Circle; please contact my PA (Nicky) on 01761 422265, who will be delighted to book a consultation at a time that is most convenient for you.