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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 happens 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
Standard Cataract Treatment
Cataract treatment with monofocal lens
Advanced Cataract Treatment
The most advanced cataract treatment using a multifocal lens
A cortical cataract – Cortical 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.
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For some people, the symptoms of cataracts develop so slowly over time that they don’t realise they have them, but for other people the signs can be much more obvious.
If you feel your eyesight has deteriorated, take a look at the list of common symptoms below to find out if you could have cataracts.
Common symptoms of cataracts
There are a number of different symptoms associated with cataracts. Everyone is different, so you may not suffer from all of them, but here are some of the signs you should look out for:
- Cloudy and/or blurred vision
- Having to change your glasses or contact lenses quite regularly, due to your prescription altering
- Seeing double or multiple images from one eye
- Colours appearing faded
- Poor vision at night
- Problems with bright lights – for example, you may have difficulty driving at night due to the glare from oncoming headlights.
A lot of people do not initially realise they are suffering from cataracts. In some cases, it only impacts a small part of the eye’s natural lens, so you may not be immediately aware of any loss of vision. However, this will get worse as the cataract gets larger and starts to cloud more of your lens. As time goes on, symptoms tend to become more obvious.
As soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should book an appointment with an optician or ophthalmic surgeon, who will be able to confirm your diagnosis and advise you on whether cataract surgery could be right for you.
At Optegra you see a consultant of ophthalmic care and they look after you the whole way through the process.Dr Chris Steele
From ITV’s This Morning
At Optegra, we pride ourselves on offering every patient a personalised approach to cataract surgery, tailored to your requirements and lifestyle.
We offer two different procedures for treating cataracts both of which involve surgery.
Standard Cataract Surgery
Our standard cataract surgery, available privately or through the NHS, involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL).
Cataract surgery is a procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic. The cloudy lens (cataract) is quickly removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) designed to last a lifetime. This treatment provides good distance vision but usually means you will still be reliant on reading glasses after the procedure. The lens used for this type of treatment is usually a mono-focal lens.
Refractive Cataract Surgery
Alternatively, we offer cataract refractive surgery, a more advanced type of cataract surgery, which uses a similar technique but replaces the natural lens with a permanent advanced multi-focal lens. Multi-focal lenses can help to correct refractive errors such as short sightedness and long sightedness, so you can experience better vision than you had even before the cataract developed. A variety of different lenses are available for different needs, and your surgeon will be able to advise you on the best option for you. This procedure uses state-of-the-art femtosecond laser technology. This could mean that your dependence on glasses or contact lenses is reduced significantly, or even eradicated completely.
This procedure has been performed thousands of times and typically takes just 20 minutes per eye. If you wear glasses for reading, distance or near vision, or wear bifocal, varifocal or multifocal contact lenses, refractive cataract surgery may be the answer you’re looking for.
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.
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 cause of vision loss in people over 40, and can also occur in children. They are a direct cause of 33% of the world’s visual impairment cases, and cause half of all incidences of blindness, particularly in developing countries.
Age is perhaps the biggest risk factor when it comes to cataracts. It is, unfortunately, one of the ways the body deals with aging for many people. However, there are some other factors that can increase your chances of developing cataracts.
These include personal habits, such as smoking or excessive alcohol use. Certain conditions like diabetes can also result in heightened risk. There are also environmental factors, such as prolonged exposure to sunlight. So, as you get older, you need to think about how you live your life.
There is no non-surgical treatment for cataracts. The only option to restore sight is to remove and replace the natural lens.
However, it is not the case that a cataract should be removed simply because it is present. For many people, a cataract will have no real impact on day-to-day life, and in such cases, it is not recommended to have a cataract operation unless the impact on vision worsens.
Unlike laser eye surgery, cataract removal is not an elective procedure and should only be carried out if deemed necessary by you and your surgeon. For example, if reading has become difficult, driving is impossible, and quality of life is impaired, these are all reasons for considering having cataract surgery.
It’s important to realise that it is always you, the patient, who has the final say about whether you have cataract surgery. Our world class surgeons can help you understand what is involved and advise you on the best way forward but it is up to you to decide if it’s for you or not.
Your own age and personal circumstances may become a factor in this decision. Some patients feel they are never too old for treatment, whereas others decide it might not be a good idea at this time in life. Whatever you decide, it’s up to you.
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 allows us to replace the natural cloudy lens with a lens that can correct the prescription at the same time. This not only removes the cataract, but also reduces or eliminates the need for glasses altogether. Cataract treatments are usually very effective and have become one of the most frequently performed treatments in the UK. Recovery rates are excellent, and the prognosis for sight improvement after cataract treatment is very good.
If you’d like to know more about our treatments and what options are best for your eye health needs, book a no-obligation consultation with one of our cataract surgeons who will be able to assess your individual circumstances and answer any queries you may have.
Estimates suggest that around half of people aged 75-85 have experienced some vision loss due to cataracts. Yet, while it is a condition that primarily affects older people, the condition can come on as early as your 40s or 50s, and in rare cases children can even be born with a congenital cataract.
Of course, the severity of the problem varies from person to person, but over time the cataracts will cause a partial, and ultimately, a complete loss of vision. However, the good news is that it is almost always treatable. Around 95% of people who receive cataract surgery find that their vision returns to the level experienced before the cataract developed.
Because cataracts primarily affect older people, some patients wonder if they are still suitable for surgery even at an advanced age. So is there an upper age limit on cataract surgery?
The answer, essentially, is no. While each patient is different – and it’s up to you and your surgeon to determine whether it’s the best option for you – your age is not necessarily a limiting factor. In fact, successful cataract operations have been carried out on patients as old as 109, with good results.
As mentioned above, age is not necessarily a factor that limits cataract surgery. However, there are certain conditions and circumstances where it might not be best to undergo the treatment. These can include some of the following:
- Underlying conditions – Conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or age related macular degeneration might limit what can be achieved during cataract surgery and affect the results expected.
- Previous eye trauma – If you have suffered any prior eye damage in an accident then this may be a limiting factor.
- Prior surgery – Your eyes are very delicate and previous eye surgery may limit the scope for cataract surgery in the future.
- Stage of cataracts – Some very advanced forms of cataract may not be treatable, but this only applies in very few cases.
- Genetic conditions – Keratoconus and Marfan’s syndrome are two genetic conditions that can make surgery impossible or very difficult.
- Pre-existing conditions – Glaucoma, uveitis and other conditions affecting the eyes might also prevent surgery.
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 with clear vision after the treatment.
Cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with a clear permanent artificial lens. Any existing or future long or short-sightedness problems may still exist. However, we offer cataract refractive surgery which uses advanced technology lenses that could correct long or short-sightedness. This surgery could help you eliminate or reduce your dependence on glasses at the same time as removing your cataract.
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 improve quickly over the next week or two, reaching its optimum at 4-6 weeks.
If you are suffering loss of vision in both eyes, then surgery will usually be carried out on both eyes, a few weeks apart. Although the risks are minimal with this procedure, it is not entirely risk free and therefore by keeping the operations apart, adequate healing can be ensured for the first eye before treatment is undertaken on the second eye.
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.
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 the hospital on the day of surgery as your vision will be slightly blurred. We advise bringing a friend or family member along with you.
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 itching and mild discomfort, which is normal. This should disappear in just one or two days.
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.
- No waiting list
- World renowned, NHS trained surgeons
- Access leading treatments not available on NHS
- Over 1.3 million patients treated
- Free consultation worth £300
- Treatment to see clearly without glasses while removing cataract
- Recommended by GP’s, Surgeons and Independent patient review sites
- Voted top rated provider in 2018, 2019
- Highly affordable from £1,995
Why Choose Optegra For Private Cataract Treatment?
Optegra is a great place to come for cataract surgeryDr Amir Hamid
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
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