Cataracts

Cataract Treatment & Surgery

Optegra is proud to offer a range of cataract treatment options to dramatically improve your vision, and even reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

At Optegra’s dedicated eye hospitals throughout the country, our experienced ophthalmic surgeons tailor cutting-edge procedures to suit each patient’s needs and lifestyle. This is just one of many reasons why we are considered the most trusted eye hospital group in the UK, as rated by our patients.

The Benefits of Cataract Surgery with Optegra

If you’ve developed cataracts, you don’t have to simply put up with it. Reduce your dependence on glasses with cataract surgery at one of Optegra’s dedicated eye hospitals. Our committed team of experienced ophthalmic surgeons use the latest technology to ensure the best results, as well as the highest level of care before, during, and after treatment. There are numerous benefits to having cataract surgery with Optegra, including:

  • tick Improved vision
  • tick The same surgeon throughout your treatment, from consultation through to aftercare
  • tick A single fixed price for all treatment, so you know exactly what to expect
  • tick Flexible finance options to spread your payments over 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
  • tick If you think cataract surgery could be right for you, book a consultation with us or attend one of our open evenings to meet our ophthalmic surgeons and ask any questions you may have.

Is there an age limit for cataract surgery?

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.

So what are the primary considerations for removing a cataract?

When to have your cataract removed

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.

One or both eyes?

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.

Other limits for surgery

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.

How to decide if cataract surgery is for you

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.

Cataract Surgery with Optegra

We offer two different procedures for treating cataracts, both of which involve 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 – The Procedure

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.

Factors that increase your risk of developing cataracts

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.

For more information about cataract surgery or to find out if you could improve your eyesight, book your consultation with Optegra or come down to one of our free open evenings.

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.

Refractive cataract surgery – the procedure

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.

Find out more about refractive cataract surgery.

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