In association with My Eye Clinic
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It most commonly occurs due to getting older. There are many medical conditions, eye diseases and some medicines that may hasten the development of cataracts. In rare cases, children can be born with cataracts. Patients experience blurry vision, poor night vision, glare while driving in sunshine or at night, faded colour vision or just a need to change their glasses frequently. At My Eye Clinic we provide advanced cataract surgery procedures to improve your vision and in many cases reduce your dependence on glasses.
Describe what happens during cataract surgery.
During cataract surgery your natural lens, which has become cloudy, is removed. A new clear plastic lens is inserted into the eye to provide clear vision. Surgery takes around 15–20 minutes under an operating microscope. You do not need to be put to sleep – usually instilling local anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye is all that is required to make this a painless procedure.
What are the risks? Is it painful?
Cataract surgery is generally very successful but, like any surgery, it does have some risks.
The main risks are damage to the delicate membrane surrounding the cataract (the posterior capsule) during the operation, disturbance to the cornea (the transparent ‘front window’ of the eye, disturbance to the retina following the operation (macular oedema or swelling, retinal detachment) and the accidental introduction of infection into the eye. The most serious risks such as infection within the eye or retinal detachment are very rare (less than one in 1,000). The overall chance of your vision worsening following cataract surgery is less than one in 100.
Cataract surgery is not painful but during the procedure you will experience a bright operating light, and the feeling of some occasional pressure in and around the eye. Following the operation, gritty sensations, soreness and tenderness are common but seldom severe and usually settle in a few days.
How long is the recovery time?
You are advised to take things easy for a couple of weeks with no heavy lifting. Ideally swimming should be avoided for three weeks and it is best to avoid any make-up close to the eye for a week.
When will I see results after surgery?
Eyes usually recover very quickly following cataract surgery, generally with good vision within a day or two. However, complete stabilisation does take a few weeks and you are advised to wait at least a month before reviewing your spectacle requirement with your optician.
Are there any pre-consultations and follow up appointments at your clinic?
Assessment for cataract surgery and post-operative review appointments are held at My Eye Clinic in Gosforth. Surgery currently takes place in the Cataract Treatment Centre at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, which has state-of-the-art surgical facilities. We do strongly recommend a follow up examination at around three weeks post-op to review progress, normally at My Eye Clinic.
How many surgeons are there at My Eye Clinic?
There are 12 consultant ophthalmologists at My Eye Clinic covering a whole range of eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, corneal diseases, macular degeneration and eyelid problems.
What can I expect after cataract surgery?
You can expect better, brighter, clearer vision and a significant improvement in vision-related quality of life. Please remember, however, that if you have other eye conditions as well as cataracts, these may affect the final outcome.
What is refractive cataract surgery?
My Eye Clinic can offer a range of cataract treatment options to improve your vision, and even reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. This drive towards being ‘spectacle free’ after cataract surgery is known as ‘refractive cataract surgery’.
During standard cataract surgery, the natural lens is replaced with a monofocal implant lens. This usually provides good distance vision but means you will still be reliant on reading glasses. This option is suitable for the great majority of our patients who just need to keep a reading pair of glasses, but some patients would want to try for spectacle independence.
Therefore at My Eye Clinic in selected patients we can offer lens replacement with a ‘premium implant lens’ which has the capability to correct both distance and reading vision at the same time. This type of lens can also correct astigmatism.
Premium implant lenses are not suitable for everyone and they do come at an extra cost. Some eye conditions make the use of premium lenses unwise. So, if you wish to consider refractive cataract surgery with implantation of a premium lens, we suggest that you ask to have a consultation with one of our cataract surgeons specialising in refractive cataract surgery to see if you would be suitable.
You can contact My Eye Clinic on 0191 5197288 to schedule an appointment with one of their consultants. Alternatively you can book online via www.myeyeclinic-uk.com