02 July 2015
It is estimated that over 40% of people over the age of 60 are affected by cataracts, with men and women being equally at risk. Mr Niaz Islam talks about the nature of the cataracts and the cataract surgery.
Phacoemulsification cataract surgery involves a lens replacement technique to treat cataracts and to restore your vision. Expert surgeons at Spire Roding will remove your cataract and replace with an intraocular lens implant to correct your distance vision. Alternative modern cost-effective options also offered include multifocal and trifocal lens implants, which also minimise the need for reading spectacles.
The percentage of people requiring cataract surgery is increasing due to our longer life expectancy. It is estimated that over 40% of people over the age of 60 are affected by cataracts, with men and women being equally at risk. Often both eyes are affected, though one eye may be worse than the other. Patients have increased expectations due to numerous improvements in lens biometry calculation, surgical equipment and technique. This routine operation usually takes 10-20 minutes and is often performed as a day case under local or topical anaesthesia.
A cataract occurs when the natural lens within the eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurred and decreased field of vision. Light is unable to pass adequately through the cloudy lens to the retina at the back of the eye. Cataracts can develop in both eyes and are one of the most common causes of reversible blindness in patients over 40.
Cataracts generally occur with increasing age or ultraviolet radiation from sunlight exposure or tanning beds. Diabetes, steroid use, previous ocular injury, inflammation or surgery can also lead to earlier cataract formation. Most cataracts do not cause pain or discomfort. However, some mature or advancing cataracts may, infrequently, cause discomfort and raised intraocular pressure of the eye.
Some early stage cataracts are compensated by stronger prescription spectacles every six months. Surgery is the definitive treatment, since the cloudy lens in the eye will need to be removed and replaced to optimise vision, preferably before or as you are affected in your daily activities (eg, driving, looking at bus numbers, cooking or reading).
Safer and successful surgical outcomes have led to us at Spire Roding offering and treating mild cataracts before vision, for example required for driving license by DVLA, becomes affected. Other mild cataracts can lead to glare and poor contrast sensitivity (ie, poor vision at dawn or dusk), and are effectively treated by cataract surgery.
Diabetics require retinal optimization and treatment before their cataract surgery. Diabetic cataracts are treated at mild rather than moderate or severe stages to facilitate retinal photography and annual retinal screening visits. Many glaucoma patients benefit from cataract surgery due to optimising vision and often lower intraocular pressure effect.
The intraocular lens implant usually remains clear life-long. Cataracts do not return or grow back. However, 30% of people within three years may require a YAG laser capsulotomy to clean the capsular bag, which contains the clear plastic intraocular lens implant. This can be arranged by your specialist Spire eye consultant as a simple out-patient procedure.
We are here to ensure your vision is optimised long term.