The must know guide to modern cataract surgery
By Mr Gok Ratnarajan, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Director of Innovation Eye Clinic
Head of Glaucoma at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead
WHAT IS A CATARACT?
A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. As a result, less light can pass through to the back of the eye.
It is more common as you get older but can also be caused by trauma, UV light, glaucoma, diabetes, smoking, steroid eye drops and previous eye surgery.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A CATARACT?
Cataracts can present with a wide variety of symptoms but the most common ones are blurred or faded vision, glare and haloes (especially when driving at night) or light sensitivity.
It can be picked up by having your eyes examined by an Ophthalmologist or Optician.
HOW ARE CATARACTS TREATED?
Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed worldwide. Modern advancements mean cataract surgery is quick and painless with a very fast visual recovery.
Small incisions are made and the cataract is broken down with ultrasound or laser energy. There are no stitches and the operation takes less than 20 minutes.
WHAT ARE THE LENS OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
I often tell my patients that cataract surgery is a chance to reset your vision to fit your lifestyle. Monofocal lens available on the NHS will give good distance vision but spectacles will be needed to refine your vision especially for near.
Premium lens can get you out of glasses altogether and your Ophthalmologist will advise you if you are a suitable candidate.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE FOR SOMEONE THINKING OF HAVING CATARACT SURGERY?
Nobody likes the idea of having an operation on their eye, but if you need cataract surgery this can actually be an opportunity to dramatically improve your vision and consequently significantly enhance your quality of life.