What is Cataract?
Cataract occurs when the lens of an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, severely diminishing someone’s capacity to see. It’s very common among an ageing population, with the prevalence of cataracts rising from 2.5% for people in their 40’s to 99% for people in their 90’s. Cataracts are the result of a person’s lenses becoming stiffer with age. This condition allows less light to pass through, limiting and scattering the light reaching the retina.
As cataracts progress, the clarity of vision is significantly reduced, with the possibility of the condition reaching a point where neither glasses or contact lenses can help.
How is Cataract treated?
Cataract surgery has developed into one of the most advanced and reliable eye surgery practices available. It involves removing the natural, ageing lens and replacing it with an artificial lens known as an Intraocular lens (IOL) that allows light through to reach the retina.
Perfect Vision combines innovative laser technology and existing, proven cataract surgery techniques to provide safe, reliable treatment for patients. Using the “LenSx” femtosecond laser our surgeons make an incision in the eye. This treatment method prevents the lens capsule in the eye from receiving any extensive damage. Following the completion of this step, surgeons revert to the traditional cataract procedure method of phacoemulsification. This approach involves breaking up the lens with an ultrasonic probe and gently sucking out the fragments.
The clear IOL is inserted through the incision so that it occupies the same space as the natural lens.The IOL will unfold, filling the remaining lens capsule. The surgeon will then close the incision, and a protective shield is placed over the top of the eye to keep it safe during the initial healing stages post-surgery. Perfect Vision is a day surgery procedure meaning you’ll be able to go home the same day the cataract surgery takes place. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes per eye.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens within the eye. Someone who is developing cataracts will have:
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to bright lights or glare
- Haloes surrounding lights
- Double vision
- Light disturbances and a loss in the quality of sight
- Coloured objects appear duller leading to reduced contrast
How long does a cataract procedure take?
It usually takes about 15-20 minutes per eye. You will be at our day theatre for approximately 3 hours in total, as it requires time to prepare you for the procedure as well as to ensure that you are fit to leave once the Perfect Vision team have finished treating you.
When can I go home after cataract procedure?
The cataract procedure is performed in an accredited day theatre; it does not require an overnight stay. You may return home once you feel fit to leave and our team is confident that you’ll be ok.
Is a cataract procedure painful?
The majority of patients feel no pain. A local anaesthetic is used to relax patients without putting them to sleep, and a guard is used to help keep the eyelids open during the procedure.
Are there risks involved with the procedure?
No medical procedure is without risk. However, at Perfect Vision Laser Correction, we implement the highest grades of aseptic technique, and we have never had a case of infection with any of our procedures. The benefits and risks are discussed upon your consultation.
Can I drive after the procedure?
You will be required not to drive for a minimum of 24 hours after the procedure. We advise that you arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. Upon examination the day after your treatment, you will be given a better indication as to when it will be safe to drive. Most patients find they are ok to drive after the first 24 hours have passed.
How will I feel after the procedure?
Due to the local anaesthetic, you will feel drowsy. This feeling is standard for the following few hours after your procedure. We keep you rested on recliners until you feel ready to make your way home. You will receive some food, and our nurses will check your medical status to ensure that you are fit to leave the theatre. We advise that you go home and rest until we see you the following day.
Is there anything that I will not be able to do after the procedure?
- You will not be able to drive for a minimum of 24 hours after your procedure.
- We advise that you don’t swim for at least 2 weeks and do not use eye make-up for a week post-operatively.
- You will be required to wear clear plastic eye shields post-operatively for 3 nights as you sleep. You will be able to see through the shields.
- Sunglasses are suggested outdoors for the first week post-operatively. Windy, dusty or dirty environments should be avoided for the first week.
- No contact sport for 4 weeks.
- There are no restrictions regarding heavy lifting or exercise after the first 24 hours have passed.
- You may watch television or read after the procedure. Although you may find vision initially blurred, watching tv or reading will not harm the eyes.
- You will be able to bath or shower as normal, just avoid soap and water from entering your eyes.
- Initially after the procedure, you may experience some haloes around lights at night and glare. This effect is typical and can take some time to resolve.
- It is not advisable to fly on a plane for a minimum of 24 hours following your procedure. It is preferable that you stay in the country within the first 2 weeks post-operatively.
Here at Perfect Vision we have an immense amount of faith in our surgeons to provide excellent results. We believe that our surgeons provide treatment that lasts long-term, resulting in patients maintaining excellent eyesight for years to come. We want our patients to be as happy as possible with the results and intend to help them maintain the best possible vision for as long as possible through our commitment program.