10 September 2018
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudiness or opacity in the normally transparent lens of the eye. This is a natural ageing process that occurs in all eyes usually over the age of 60 years. Sometimes a cataract can form at a younger age, and this is usually associated with other conditions such as diabetes, inflammation in the eye, steroid use or trauma to the eye.
What are the symptoms of cataract?
A cataract causes a gradual reduction in vision that usually occurs over several months to years. People may find that objects or colours are not as clear as they once were. Some cataracts can also cause glare, especially when driving at night time or haloes in bright lights.
When is cataract surgery advised?
Cataract surgery is usually recommended when the level of vision due to the cataract is interfering with a person's life. This may be that their vision has dropped below the legal driving limit, they are finding reading or watching TV more difficult or not able to enjoy their usual hobbies.
What does cataract surgery involve?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, and has an excellent success rate and safety record.
- The operation is usually carried out as a day-case procedure, under local anaesthesia using eye drops or a small injection around the eye, with the whole operation taking about 20 minutes to complete
- Small incisions are made in the cornea, allowing a special ultrasound probe to enter the eye, which breaks up the lens into small pieces and then removes them from the eye. This process is known as Phacoemulsification
- A clear, plastic lens implant is then placed into the eye, replacing the cloudy lens. This lens implant will typically last a lifetime
- Stitches are rarely required these days and patients are usually sent home within hours and asked to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for about 4 weeks after the surgery
- Patients are normally reviewed again in the clinic from 2-4 weeks after their operation
- After surgery patients usually do not have their eye patched. They can resume their usual lifestyle and normal activities soon after the procedure is performed
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is a very successful and safe procedure. However, any operation inside the eye will always carry a certain risk. There is a 0.1% risk of a serious complication that can cause severe and permanent loss of vision. There is a 2% risk of further surgery should the operation become complicated.`
Why is my vision starting to mist over following cataract surgery?
When we perform cataract surgery, the new plastic lens is inserted into the natural capsule of the eye. In some patients, this capsule can mist over and scar a few months or a few years following cataract surgery. This is known as Posterior Capsular Opacification. A simple outpatient painless laser procedure can effectively treat this condition. It rapidly restores the vision to its previous state.
Mr Agrawal is highly trained in keyhole microscopic stitch-free cataract surgery which he gained at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
If you’re worried, Mr Pavi Agrawal specialises in cataracts (including complex cases) and will be happy to see you at the Spire Nottingham Hospital. A private consultation with Mr Pavi Agrawal costs £200 if you don't have private health insurance. For more information or to book an appointment call our Bookings team on 0115 937 7735.