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Don't live in the shadows of cataracts

01 June 2018

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in the UK with figures showing that around 300,000 procedures are carried out every year, yet there are still thousands of people living in the shadows of cataracts.

As part of Cataract Awareness Month, which runs throughout June, eye experts are urging people to learn the symptoms and signs of cataracts and to seek help and advice if they think they are developing them.

Mr Daniel Calladine a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Spire Little Aston Hospital, explained that “Cataracts are a very common condition and can either develop quickly or gradually depending on their type and a patient’s general health. Some types of cataracts can cause significant glare from bright lights such as car headlights or a low setting sun, whereas other types can make reading more difficult especially in dim light. They can be removed easily whether in the early stages or if they are more established, but it is important not to leave them too long because this can sometimes make it more difficult to remove them safely. “

“A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which sits inside the eye behind the iris and the pupil. The lens is an important focussing mechanism to help us see clearly and usually provides the fine tuning aspects of vision. If the image that we see is not properly focussed on the retina because of a cataract then this causes blurred vision. When the lens becomes cloudy it can also scatter light and cause glare. Cataracts usually make the lens stiffer so that it is less able to flex and change shape, this impairs our ability to focus at different distances such as when trying to read or see in to the far distance.“

“During cataract Surgery we remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one made of acrylic plastic. In the past we only had monofocal lens implant, which are very good for were fixed correcting distant vision but glasses were usually still required for reading or if astigmatism was present. However we now have multifocal lenses and extended range vision lenses that can focus on distance, middle and some near vision, as well as Toric lenses that can reduce astigmatism. This gives us plenty of options when choosing which lens to use during surgery to try and meet your visual requirements afterwards.”

"The typical operation time takes 10 minutes and patients usually report the vision is very good the next day. Within a few days you can get back to normal activities though we do recommend a few days off work and not to swim or fly for 2 weeks afterwards.“

If you would like a consultant with Mr Daniel Calladine, please contact the Spire Eye Centre on 0121 580 7171. 

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