Mr Nicholas Glover
MBBS BSc FRCOphth (London)
Consultant Cataract Surgeon
CATARACT EYE CARE SERVICES
Before cataract surgery, your eye health and general health will be checked and your eye will be photographed by a machine that measures the length and the shape of your eyeball. These tests help the ophthalmologist decide which lens is the best to implant when they perform your operation.
If you have a cataract in both eyes your ophthalmologist will decide which cataract to remove in the first operation. In most cases, this is the eye with the worst cataract.
Cataracts are a very common eye condition. As we get older the lens inside our eye gradually changes and becomes less transparent (clear). A lens that has turned misty, or cloudy, is said to have a cataract. Over time a cataract will gradually make your vision worse. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant.
Most people choose to have their cataracts removed when the change in their vision starts to cause them difficulties in everyday life. There is no longer a reason to wait until your cataract is "ripe" before removing it. The timing of this varies from person to person.
Many people with cataracts are still legally able to drive. If you have any concerns about whether you should be driving, your optometrist should be able to tell you whether your sight is within the legal limits for driving. Sometimes people may be legally able to drive but might find driving difficult in bright sunlight or at night. If this is the case, then you may think it is a good time to consider having your cataracts removed.
In the past, the primary goal of cataract surgery was to restore a person's vision for driving, watching television, and other distance vision tasks.
To see clearly up close, a person would need to wear bifocals or reading glasses after cataract removal to correct the inevitable post-surgical presbyopia.
Many patients choose multifocal intraocular lenses in order that they can be glasses-free or may only need reading glasses occasionally for reading small print after cataract surgery.
The multifocal lens implants are more expensive than a standard lens so will increase the price of surgery. We will discuss at your appointment if this lens would benefit you.
Standard catarct surgery lens implants will correct patients with long or short sight but may not fully treat patients with significant astigmatism. They may still require spectacle correction at both near and distance.
Astigmatism is an optical defect in which vision is blurred due to an irregular curvature of the cornea or lens.
Although mild astigmatism may be asymptomatic, higher degrees of astigmatism may cause symptoms such as blurry vision, squinting, fatigue, or headaches.
A 'toric' surface resembles a section of the surface of a Rugby ball rather than the 'sphere' of a football. This optical shape gives rise to astigmatism in the eye.
The use of a Toric lens implant can correct this, but they are more expensive than a standard lens so will increase the price of surgery. We will discuss at your appointment if this lens would benefit you.