What are Cataracts?

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One of the most common conversations I have with my clients after their eye examination is about cataracts.

They usually have all sorts of questions and worries so we take as much time as we need to help them understand what is going to happen and feel more relaxed. Here I’ve answered some of the questions I hear most often.

What are Cataracts?

Inside your eye is a clear lens, about the size and shape of a Smartie. This lens usually starts off perfectly clear, but as we get older it starts to develop cloudy areas. This is known as cataract. Cataracts usually develop slowly so the signs can be hard to spot and may not be noticed until your routine eye examination.

Cataracts Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, colours appearing more dull than usual, double vision, haloes or glare from lights, trouble with glare from oncoming headlights when driving at night and a drop in your overall clarity of vision. If you have noticed any of these common cataracts symptoms then book an eye examination at DKO or your local optician.

Cataracts NHS & Private Referrals

If a cataract is causing a significant reduction in your vision or impacting your quality of life then your optometrist will discuss a referral with you. You may choose an NHS referral for cataracts via your GP surgery, or a private referral directly to a clinic of your choice. Once your referral has been processed you will be assessed for cataracts treatment.

Cataract Surgery

Cataracts surgery is usually day surgery, which means you won’t have to stay in hospital overnight. The ophthalmic surgeon will remove the cloudy lens from your eye and replace it with a brand new intraocular lens. They will often be able to correct your previous distance prescription with the new lens and can even offer multifocal intraocular lenses in some cases to help with reading too. Cataract surgery is successful over 95% of the time and less than 1 in 500 cases result in serious or sight threatening complications.

What Happens After Cataract Surgery?

After your cataracts treatment you will have a follow up appointment, usually with the clinic who performed your surgery. After around six weeks you will be able to return to your optician for an eye examination.

Will I Still Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

Most people do wear glasses or contact lenses after their cataracts treatment. You might not need your glasses as much as you used to, but even if you do, the good news is that your vision will probably be better than it’s been for years.

Cataract Facts

  • More than half of people over 65 have some signs of cataract and almost everybody over 75 has cataracts to some extent.
  • Cataract is the leading cause of sight loss globally, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Cataracts can’t grow back.
  • Cataract surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic.
  • Cataracts – and their treatment – were first documented over 2000 years ago.

If you’re worried or somebody you care for may be affected by cataracts then please contact us on (01458) 274646 or click here to send us a message. You can also book your eye examination online here.

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