A cataract is a clouding or opacification of the natural lens in the eye that causes visual impairment. The development of cataract is a common part of the aging process. As a cataract progresses, it blocks and scatters more light, causing progressive deterioration of vision, that cannot be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.In an age-related cataract, symptoms begin due to a gradual reduction in the amount of light entering the eye. With time, there is increasing blur and poor vision, as the lens is becoming more opaque. Your ability to perceive colour, particularly those of blue hues may be affected.
Cataract is common above the age of 60, and can be considered a part of the aging process. Cataracts though can happen at any age. Risk factors for developing cataracts include previous injury to the eye, previous retinal surgery, systemic conditions including diabetes, and some medications.
Cataract surgery is a common and generally very safe operation, with a very high success rate.
There are two main methods that our surgeons use for cataract surgery removal:
1. Modern phacoemulsification cataract surgery – this is an excellent method of cataract removal, in which an ultrasonic probe fragments the cataract into smaller pieces, which can then be removed by aspiration from the eye. Fluid irrigation continuously maintains the structure of the eye during the surgery.
It is possible to tailor your surgery to give you a greater amount of spectacle independence after cataract surgery. This can be done by a variety of methods, which our surgeons are happy to discuss with you prior to surgery.
It is important to remember that despite the high success rates of modern cataract surgery, all operations carry some risks. Our specialists will discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have.
2. Laser-assisted cataract surgery – this is a newer variation to modern cataract surgery, in which a femotosecond laser is used to make the circular opening in the anterior capsular bag surrounding the cataract, as well as to fragment the lens into smaller pieces. The laser can also be used to make the openings into the eye to allow the surgery to be performed without the use of a surgical blade. Both methods of surgery typically produce excellent results. In both methods, intraocular lenses (IOLs) are inserted into the eye to focus light on the retina. Using our sophisticated equipment and preoperative calculations, we can predict with a high degree of certainty the post-operative refraction, and customise the outcome for each patient.