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What are cataracts?
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 reduces your dependence on glasses, and in some cases eradicates 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 by a cataract, vision is impaired.
Cataract Treatment Pricing
Standard Cataract Treatment
Cataract surgery with monofocal lens
Enhanced Cataract Treatment
Cataract & astigmatism treatment with a toric lens
Advanced Cataract Treatment
The most advanced cataract surgery using a multifocal lens
What does vision look like with cataracts?
When you have a cataract, it can feel as though you are looking through cracked or frosted glass, 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.
What are the 3 types of cataracts?
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.
What causes cataracts?
There are several different causes 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
Cataracts are very common and can affect people from all backgrounds, although you are more likely to develop them the older you get. In many cases, people notice problems with their vision later in life as their lens changes over time. However, some people are born with the condition (in which case it is known as congenital cataracts), or develop cataracts during childhood. In most childhood cases, the cataracts will not noticeably affect vision until the individual develops additional lens changes later in life.
Women are at greater risk of developing cataracts than men. Other factors which could increase the risk of cataract formation for people of all age groups include:
- A family history of cataracts
- Eye injury or previous eye trauma
- Steroid medication prescribed over a long period of time
- Other eye conditions, such as long-term uveitis, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma
- Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including sunlamps, tanning booths, and sunlight
- Having had vitrectomy surgery
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 – e.g. you find it difficult to see when the light starts to fade
- Problems with bright lights – e.g. 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, the symptoms of cataracts 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
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.
It is not the case that a cataract should always 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.
There is no non-surgical treatment for cataracts. The only option to restore sight is to remove and replace the natural lens via cataract surgery.
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.
Cataract treatments are usually very effective and have become one of the most frequently performed procedures 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 cataract 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.
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.
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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