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
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 procedures can generally be done within a few weeks of each other.
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.
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
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- Treatment to see clearly without glasses while removing cataract
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