What is a Cataract?A cataract affects the opacity of the lens inside the eye. Looking through a cataract can be like looking through a ‘waterfall’ – instead of a clear sheet of glass.Cataracts can appear in various forms, and some are asymptomatic. If no symptoms appear, the cataract can often be left alone. If symptoms occur, then cataracts can be treated very successfully with surgery.
What are the Common Symptoms of Cataracts?Cataracts can develop gradually over many years. Patients often overlook the gradual deterioration in their vision until it starts to interfere with their daily activity or indeed, it is spotted by their optometrist. Here are some noticeable symptoms of cataracts to look out for:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- A reduction in colour intensity
- Halos around lights
- Double vision
- Frequent prescription update
- Poor night vision
- Light sensitivity
- ‘Shadow’ appearance behind objects
Cataracts cause clouding of the lens, resulting in blurred vision. We offer cataract evaluations and advanced surgical options to restore your vision and improve your quality of life.
Diabetes can have a significant impact on eye health, causing conditions like diabetic retinopathy. We work collaboratively with your healthcare team to manage and monitor any diabetes-related eye concerns.
Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss. We offer comprehensive screenings and advanced treatments to manage glaucoma, ensuring early detection and care for our patients.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, makes it difficult to focus on close objects. Our skilled optometrists can provide accurate assessments and recommend appropriate corrective measures.
Macular degeneration affects central vision and can lead to significant visual impairment. Our experts provide comprehensive evaluations and offer guidance on lifestyle modifications and treatment options to help preserve your vision.
Myopia, or near-sightedness, causes difficulty in seeing distant objects clearly. We offer various corrective options to address myopia and provide clear vision.
Nystagmus is an involuntary eye movement that can affect vision. Our professionals can diagnose and manage nystagmus, providing strategies and resources to optimise your visual function.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition that affects near vision. We can guide you through available options, including progressive lenses or multifocal contact lenses, to enhance your reading and close-up vision.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disorder that leads to progressive vision loss. Our team can provide specialised care and support to help manage the condition and improve your quality of life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What part of the eye does a cataract impact?
Cataracts impact the lens. The lens is a transparent body located behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye). A cataract is an opacity of the lens which therefore impacts the clarity of our vision.
What does the cataract operation involve?
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and quickest surgeries performed in modern medicine. Modern cataract surgery (called phacoemulsification) is usually performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. During the surgery, a tiny incision is made into the eye and the lens removed with an ultrasound probe. The capsule of the lens is left behind and this is used to house the new lens implant.
The whole procedure takes between 15 and 20 minutes, and the visual recovery is very quick with most patients noticing improved vision within a matter of days.
What are the different types of lens implants?
Each patient’s eye has unique qualities which need to be accounted for. An eye exam and biometry measurements are taken to establish the correct lens power for the individual eye.
The optometrists then assess which of the following lens implants are most suitable. The two major categories of lens implant are:
These provide good distance vision, but glasses are required for close work. They are also the most common type of lenses used.
These lenses offer a high probability of achieving spectacle independence, providing patients with the ability to see far as well as to read without glasses.
However, patients can experience a reduction in contrast sensitivity (especially in dim lighting), as well as halos and glare around lights at night. Some patients are prepared to accept these visual effects because they are very keen to reduce their reliance on glasses.
The pre-operative preparations for patients interested in multifocal lens implants are more involved than when monofocal lenses are being used, a wider range of issues needs to be discussed and the post-operative management is more intensive. These are the major reasons that these lenses are not offered on the NHS.