Cataract Surgery

As we age, various imperfections develop within the natural lens of the eye causing it to become dull and increase its cloudiness.  These lens changes are called ‘cataract’.  The most frequent symptoms of cataracts are:

  • Blurred / foggy / dim vision

  • Increasing difficulty with night vision

  • Difficulty reading

  • Sensitivity to lights

  • Problems driving at night because of glare from headlights

  • Frequent changes in glasses / contact lens prescription

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Symptoms

Once diagnosed with cataract, it will be necessary to have regular eye examinations with dilating drops.  Your eye doctor will monitor the progress of your cataract and together, you can make an informed decision about the impact of the cataract on your everyday life and the most appropriate time for surgery.  

Cataracts are removed surgically, usually under local anaesthetic with sedation. A small incision is made in the eye and the cataract is removed.  The eye cannot focus without a lens so once removed, it is replaced with a lens implant.  There are many different types of lens implants and each implant comes in a range of powers.  A lens implant will be selected for you based on the measurements taken of your eyes during your pre-operative consultation and your desired visual outcome.  All of this will be discussed with you during your pre-operative consultation.

Antibiotics are infused in your eye at the time of surgery to protect against infection.

After cataract surgery, you will be sent home with drops that will need to be used for 1 month. You will also need to be seen by your eye doctor a few times within the first month of your surgery to ensure your eye is healing properly.

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When to Operate

The decision to have surgery is reached by you and your doctor together. Its is based on your personal needs and your doctors recommendation about the best time for surgery.

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Cataract Surgery

The treatment for cataracts is the surgical removal of the clouded lens. The eye, however cannot focus without a lens, so vision will be indistinct unless some device is employed to take the place of the missing lens. Since about 1980, we have achieved this by inserting a plastic lens into the eye (intraocular lens).

Image by Daniil Kuželev

The Artificial Lens

Ninety eight percent of patients do very well from the surgery. However, like any surgical procedure, complications can occur.

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Complications

Ninety eight percent of patients do very well from the surgery. However, like any surgical procedure, complications can occur.

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After Surgery

After the operation, there are no limitations on the patient. Usually two or three kinds of drops are required, each to be used three or four times a day after surgery to encourage healing and prevent infection. There are no particular restrictions upon activity except that any direct trauma to the eye would be highly undesirable. There are no restrictions regarding reading or watching television.