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What is a cataract?

A cataract is a painless gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the pupil and the iris. This process tends to occur as people get older, but if you are suffering from this condition, there is no need to simply put up with it. At Optegra, we provide leading cataract surgery procedures which reduce your dependence on glasses, and in some cases eradicate the need for them altogether.

To understand the impact of cataracts, you first need to understand the function of the eye’s natural lens and the retina. The retina is situated at the back of the eye; it is a light-sensitive tissue. The lens is the clear part of your eye which helps to focus light onto the retina. Thus, when the lens becomes clouded, vision is impaired.

There are several different types of cataracts, which include:

  • Age related - which happen over time

  • Congenital - when babies are born with cataracts or they form in childhood due to injury or infection

  • Secondary – cataracts develop as a result of another medical condition or from being around dangerous substances or medication

  • Traumatic – forming after an injury to the eye

Eye cataracts develop gradually

A cataract is something which develops gradually, resulting in your eyesight getting worse and worse over time. Contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not caused by a film growing across your eye. Your lens is actually made up of protein and water, and cataracts occur when the protein in the lens gathers in such a way as to prevent light passing through. Cataracts are most common in people over the age of 65. You can develop cataracts in both eyes or in just one of them; however cataracts cannot spread from one eye to the other.

How cataracts affect your vision

It can feel as though you are looking through cracked or frosted glass when you have a cataract, as your vision becomes blurred. This can seem like a mere inconvenience at first. However, if you leave it untreated, it can result in blindness. A cataract can also be extremely detrimental to your ability to do everyday tasks such as reading and driving. To find out more, take a look at our guidance on cataract symptoms.

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Optegra are the only laser eye surgery to be recommended by Boots Opticians. We are also named as "UK’s Top Rated Eye Hospital" In the most recent Doctify Awards, and are a five star provider on Trustpilot.

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Different types of cataracts

  • A cortical cataract- ortical cataracts occur in the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus, known as the lens cortex. They are characterised by opacities, which are white and wedge-like. They begin in the lens’ periphery and work towards the centre.
  • A nuclear cataract- This is the type of cataract that is typically associated with ageing. It happens when a cataract forms deep in the nucleus (central area) of the lens.
  • A subcapsular cataract- Finally, we have the subcapsular cataract, which develops at the back of the lens. You have a greater risk of developing these cataracts if you take a high dose of steroid medications.

What is a cataract?

At Optegra, we pride ourselves on offering every patient a personalised approach to cataract surgery, tailored to your requirements and lifestyle. You will have a consultation with one of our world-class ophthalmic surgeons, who will carry out an extensive evaluation to determine the best treatment for you.

You will see the same surgeon throughout the course of your treatment, from your initial consultation and surgery, to the aftercare you receive after your surgery. This guarantees the best level of care. We also use the most innovative technology available, to ensure the very best results. Book a consultation today to find out if cataract surgery could be right for you.

Cataract FAQ's

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are when the eye’s natural lens appears cloudy. They are generally associated with aging, although they can also be the result of trauma to the eye. Cataracts are the most common... Read More

What treatments are available for cataracts?

Optegra is one of the most trusted eye health groups in the UK when it comes to treating cataracts. We currently offer cataract surgery with the most advanced technology lenses available. This... Read More

Can my cataract come back after it has been removed?

No, once a cataract has been removed it cannot return to the same eye. The artificial lens which replaces your eye’s natural lens in surgery does not allow cataracts to build up, leaving you... Read More

Will I need glasses, contact lenses or reading glasses after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with a clear permanent artificial lens. Any existing or future long or short-sightedness problems may still... Read More

How quickly will my vision be restored?

After your cataract operation, your vision will be blurry at first and you may be asked to wear a protective patch. Your sight should return a few hours after the operation and your vision should... Read More

Can I have both eyes done at once?

Typically, your expert consultant will not perform cataract removal on both eyes at the same time, with each eye requiring a separate procedure. If you need cataract surgery on both eyes then the... Read More

Can a cataract spread from one eye to another?

Cataracts cannot spread from one eye to another; however they do tend to develop in both eyes around the same time asymmetrically. It is possible to suffer from cataracts in just one eye.  Read More

Do I have to stay overnight after the cataract surgery?

No, the surgery itself only takes a few minutes and the majority of your recovery can be done in the comfort of your own home.
You must arrange for transportation to and from... Read More

Will there be any pain?

The operation itself is pain free. You will be awake during the procedure; however we will use a local anaesthetic to numb the eye and the area surrounding it. Afterwards, you may experience... Read More

The Optegra Approach

Our ethos is to provide an unrivalled solution for a wide range of eye health problems. That's why we offer much more than just laser eye surgery, lens replacement and cararact surgery. Some of our leading medical treatments offer cutting edge solutions for glaucoma, floaters, keratoconus, eyelid conditions and more. All carried out by one of our highly qualified specialists at one of our modern dedicated eye hospitals.

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"At Optegra you see a consultant of ophthalmic care and they look after you the whole way through the process."

dr Chris Steele

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