A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. The lens, located just behind the iris, or the coloured part of your eye, works like the lens of a camera. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.
The best way to treat a cataract is to remove the old, clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens. Uplift provide a selection of the best local surgeons in the Birmingham area. By choosing Uplift you will get access to the top cataract extraction surgeons in Birmingham.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. The lens, located just behind the iris, or the coloured part of your eye, works like the lens of a camera. It is the part of the eye that focus' light, color, and shapes on the retina, which sends the images to your brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.
In some cases, cataracts have been linked to personal behaviour such as smoking and alcohol use and environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to sunlight. However, in over 90% of cases it is the ageing process causes the clouding. A cataract can occur in either one or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.
Cataracts can be the reason sharp images become blurred, or seeing things at night is more difficult. It may also be why the eyeglasses or contact lenses that used to help you read, or do other simple tasks, no longer seem to help. A cataract is not a "film" over the eye, and neither diet nor lasers will make it go away. The best way to treat a cataract is to remove the old, clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Cataracts tend to worsen slowly, so vision gradually deteriorates. Over time, the cloudy area in the lens may get larger and the cataract may increase in size. Seeing may become more difficult and vision may get duller or blurrier.
Other signs of a cataract may include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Reduction in the sharpness of images
- Colours seem faded
- Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights
- Poor night vision
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye. This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger
- Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses
Your initial consultation is extremely important. You should be able to speak freely with your surgeon about your goals and desired outcome. Be prepared to provide your medical history and inform your surgeon of any vitamins and medications (including over-the-counter) that you are taking.
Risks of cataract surgery
As with any surgery, cataract surgery poses risks, such as infection and bleeding. Surgery can also slightly increase your risk of retinal detachment.
Cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed on the eye. It also is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. In about 99 percent of cases, people who have cataract surgery have better vision afterward.
Preparing for cataract surgery
Before cataract surgery, your surgeon may ask you to temporarily stop taking certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. You will also need to have measurements taken from your eye so the right lens can be selected to implant.
On the day before surgery, patients should stop using any makeup, lotions, perfumes or creams that may cause debris to get into the eye.
Types of anaesthesia
For most patients, cataract surgery is done under local anaesthesia using drops instilled on the surface of the eye. This means you'll be awake during the surgery, but insensitive to any discomfort.
After the eye is numbed and the pupil is dilated by using eye drops, a tiny incision is made in the eye. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts an instrument, about the size of a pen tip. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so it can be removed by suction. This method of cataract removal is called phacoemulsification also known as ‘small incision cataract surgery’.
Once the clouded lens has been removed, an artificial lens or an intraocular lens (IOL) is then inserted to restore the focusing strength of the eye. You will not feel or see the new lens.
The cataract operation itself lasts about half an hour so you’ll spend just a few hours at the site.
After the cataract operation, a patch or a shield is placed over your eye. Drops will be prescribed to guard against infection and help your eyes heal. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery.
Back to normal
In most cases, healing will be complete within four weeks.
You can return quickly to many everyday activities within a few day of surgery. Ask your doctor when you can resume driving.
The new look
If you receive an IOL, you may notice that colours are very bright. Within a few months after receiving an IOL, you will become used to improved colour vision. Also, when your eye heals, you may need new glasses or contact lenses.