A cataract is a painless gradual clouding of the lens of your eye.
The lens is a clear part of your eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye.
A cataract generally develops over a long period of time, causing your eyesight to get progressively worse. Your vision becomes blurred because the cataract acts as if you are looking through frosted or cracked glass which interferes with your sight – and at best is inconvenient and at worst can lead to blindness if left untreated.
You can develop a cataract in either or both of your eyes and they are very common in people aged over 65. People sometimes think that a cataract is a film growing over your eye, or that a cataract can spread from one eye to the other, but these are both misconceptions.
At Optegra eye hospitals, we can easily treat cataracts with surgery. You can then get back to enjoying all the activities and hobbies as you did before, from reading to driving.
The cataract operation
The cataract removal procedure is straightforward and there’s no need to wait until the cataract is ‘ripe’ before having it removed. At Optegra, we perform cataract surgery under local anaesthetic – you are awake throughout the whole procedure but won’t feel a thing. You are treated as an out-patient and the whole procedure lasts around 20 minutes for each eye.
About your eye
Behind the coloured part of your eye (the iris) is your lens, which works much like a camera lens and helps you see in focus. Your lens is normally clear and changes shape so that you can view things in sharp focus both close up or far away. It directs light rays onto the back of your eyeball (the retina) to form an image that is then sent to your brain.
If your lens becomes cloudy, this is known as a cataract.
Types of cataract
The main types of cataract affecting adults:
An age-related cataract – These are the most common, affecting the majority of the world’s population at some point in their life.
A health-related cataract – These can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma, due to other health problems, such as diabetes or can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
What if you wear glasses or contact lenses?
If you have a cataract and wish to reduce your dependence on reading and distance glasses, Optegra can also give you the additional benefit of vision correction with Clarivu. Clarivu is a sophisticated development of the cataract procedure which can correct both long and short-sightedness and eliminates cataracts in one simple, permanent lens replacement procedure.
Book your consultation with an expert Optegra eye surgeon or call us on 01483 903090.