It’s an exciting time to be an Ophthalmologist, and there’s no better area to work in than cataracts. I remember being told that, years ago, a cataract patient was needed to be stitched with heavy surgical sutures, then lie in bed for two weeks with sandbags on either side of their heads.
Now, surgery is mainly performed under local anesthetic, the wound is self healing and the patient walks out of the day surgery within three hours or so.
Over the years, the lens of an eye can become cloudy. This stops light passing through the lens, which can make vision gradually become yellow, and can effect the perception of blue colours. Cataracts can also cause a blurring of vision, as well as decreased night vision.
Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a new, artificial lens. You’ll need a referral from a doctor or optometrist before you can come to an ophthalmologist. You’ll have a full assessment, then we’ll discuss the proposed surgery and answer all of your questions. Today, we use microsurgery to perform a tiny incision – it’s no more than 3mm long.
Then, we remove the old lens and replace it with what’s called an intraocular lens. There are so many exciting advances in intraocular lenses, we now even have bifocal lenses. We’ll perform surgery on one eye first, then the second eye about a month later.
What surprises my patients most is the fact that, once both eyes have been operated on, they often don’t need to wear their glasses to read anymore. That’s because their old lenses, which have lost elasticity over the years, have been replaced with new ones.
You can find more information on cataracts by clicking here.