Cataract

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What is a cataract?

A cataract occurs when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. The cloudiness of the lens obstructs light from passing through your eye properly and results in blurred, poor quality vision.
Development of a cataract is a natural part of the ageing process. As the lens ages it becomes increasingly opaque. The timing of these changes in the lens will vary from person to person. A cataract may develop over a few months or several years.
Once a cataract has developed changes to your glasses prescription will not help. Only removal of the cataract will restore your vision.

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Symptoms & Assessment

Symptoms may vary but generally people with cataract notice:

  • gradual worsening of their vision
  • objects seem blurry, hazy, distorted or yellow
  • glare sensitivity and halos around lights

These disruptions to your vision can have a significant impact on your day to day living.
A consultation with an eye specialist will help determine the impact the cataract is having on your life, the stage of development of the cataract and the likely timing of your need for surgical treatment.

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What is involved in cataract surgery?

The cataract is treated by removing your natural lens and replacing it with a new plastic one called an Intraocular lens (IOL). This new lens sits in the same place as the old one (behind the iris) and is not visible to the naked eye. The IOL is permanent, cannot be felt inside the eye and will not change the colour of your eye.

A cataract operation is considered a safe and common procedure. The procedure only takes about 20 minutes, and most people find it an easy and comfortable experience. It is conducted in a surgical theatre, where you will be given some sedation and anaesthetic.

In the initial days after surgery your eye may be a little tender, gritty and watery and it may take several days (or even weeks) for your vision to reach it’s best potential.

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Improved vision

The improvement and restoration of your eye sight can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It is often not until after cataract surgery that people realise just how much the cataract was impairing their day to day functioning.

Cataract surgery can offer:
- improved quality of vision – sharper images and brighter colours
- decreased dependence on glasses- surgery calculations can aim to eliminate your need for distance and/or reading glasses​

Crisper, clearer vision can enhance your involvement in your favourite activities – golf, bowls, tennis, sewing, carpentry, reading & playing music.