14 June 2019
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudy natural lens. The lens of the eye is found behind the iris, the coloured structure of the eye that gives us our green or brown eyes, and is normally clear and transparent. As we get older the lens loses its elasticity and clarity, resulting initially in symptoms of presbyopia (need for reading glasses) and later in blurred and poor quality vision. Although usually a natural development, cataract can also be associated with other eye conditions, the use of steroids or trauma to the eye.
I wear glasses for both distance and near; will cataract surgery get me out of glasses?
Cataract surgery provides a great opportunity to address any refractive errors of your eye, whether you are short-sighted or long-sighted. Selection of the appropriate lens during surgery can reduce or eliminate your need for distance and near spectacles following the procedure.
I have astigmatism. Will using a toric lens during surgery correct this?
Very often the cornea is not a perfect sphere in shape, resulting in astigmatism that is usually compensated for with spectacles. If you have astigmatism, it is advisable to use a toric lens during surgery. A toric lens will correct any underlying astigmatism, providing better vision without spectacles and reducing or eliminating the need for spectacles following the surgery.
What is a multi-focal lens and who would need one?
A multifocal lens is a great option if you are motivated and interested in being less dependent on spectacles following surgery. It can provide clear vision for both distance and near without needing glasses. The majority of patients can read small print, however a weak pair of glasses may be needed for prolonged reading or computer use. This lens can be combined with astigmatism reduction (toric multifocal lens), allowing you to achieve the best possible vision.
How different is cataract surgery if I choose a premium lens?
Cataract surgery is very similar for all types of lens that may be used. Consideration for a premium lens, whether multifocal or toric, will require more detailed assessment and scans during your clinic consultation. A toric lens will require specific alignment during the surgery, adding a few extra steps to the pre-operative ward round and to the surgery.
What happens after treatment, what can I expect during recovery?
After surgery your eye will be comfortable, possibly slightly scratchy. As your eye recovers, your vision will be blurred for the first day due to the surgery and a large pupil. It will then start to improve over the next few days and within the week your vision will have improved to a very good level. Care is required the first week or two but most routine daily activities can be performed as usual.
The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.