Cataracts are a natural part of ageing that develop over time. A cataract is a loss of transparency or clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This lens is a part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina. It is located behind the iris. With age it becomes harder and leads to difficulties reading or Presbyopia. As time progresses the lens becomes cloudy and affects vision.

Cataracts can be treated easily using micro-incision cataract surgery along with Lasers. Centre for Sight introduced the first VICTUS laser to the UK in 2012. This laser (featured on SkyNews and the Daily Mail) and has enhanced the precision and safety of Cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery in combination with Premium or added value lenses such as Trifocal implants provides patients with independence from optical aids – Visual Rejuvenation.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a loss of transparency or clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This lens is a part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina. It is located behind the iris.

What causes Cataracts?

The lens of the eye is located immediately behind the iris and is responsible for 33% of the eye’s focusing power. The cornea is a clear structure at the front of the eye and provides the remaining 67%.

The function of the lens is to provide fine focus, especially up close. The lens changes shape to alter the power of the eye (accommodate) and adjusts focus for near and intermediate objects. At birth it is like jelly but unfortunately with age it gradually hardens and loses its ability to change shape. Evidence of this hardening normally starts to affect us in our mid-forties when many require reading glasses for close work. This is called Presbyopia.

Those requiring glasses or contact lenses most of their life (i.e. before their 40’s) for shortsight, longsight and/or astigmatism usually have what is called a Refractive Disorder. This is where the length of the eye in relation to the shape of the cornea causes the point of focus at the back of the eye to fall short of or beyond the retina. Many with a refractive disorder find that laser eye surgery is a good option. However it can be limited in its ability to treat Presbyopia.

With further increase in age, the lens continues to harden and starts to become more compact and cloudy, reducing initially quality of vision and later obstructing vision and interfering with day to day activities. A cloudy opaque lens is called a cataract and unfortunately is inevitable should we live long enough.

What are Cataract symptoms?

The typical symptom of cataract formation is a slow, progressive and painless decrease in vision of variable degrees. The loss of transparency of the lens may be so mild that vision is hardly affected, or so severe that no shapes or movements are seen, only light and dark.

Other symptoms are:

  • Blurring of vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Glare, particularly at night
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription change
  • A decrease in colour intensity
  • A yellowing of images
  • Double vision (in rare cases)

Who can be treated?

  • Those with visually significant lens cloudiness
  • People of any age

A comprehensive eye examination including visual acuity test, tonometry (measurement of the pressure inside the eye), pupil dilation, cornea measurements and tests to measure the size of the eye will determine your suitability for the procedure.

How is a cataract treated?

At Centre for Sight, the Victus femtosecond laser is the method of choice for performing cataract surgery on all patients. The basics of the operation involve selecting a replacement lens with your surgeon, who will consider your lifestyle and needs before making a recommendation. The surgery itself takes around 15 minutes (each eye), with your old lens being removed through a micro incision.

What is Laser Cataract Surgery ?

Laser Cataract Surgery is now the most precise technology available. As the procedure provides a whole new level of precision and in turn safety, ALL Centre for Sight patients undergo this procedure where deemed suitable. Learn more about Victus Laser Cataract Surgery.

Can I become completely free of glasses following cataract surgery?

Yes this is possible if your surgeon uses a multifocal or trifocal intraocular lens. However not all patients are suitable for this option. Your surgeon at Centre for Sight will at the time of consultation indicate to you whether this type of lens is suitable in your case.

Author Information

Authored by Sheraz Daya MD FACP FACS FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon & Medical Director, June 2019.

Next review due June 2020.