A cataract is a condition where the lens of the eye becomes clouded. Cataracts can happen at any age, but are more common when we get older. When you’re born, the lens in your eye is clear. As you age the lens starts to fail and your vision becomes blurred. Cataracts affect everyone at some stage in their life.
To determine if you have a cataract, your doctor will review your history and symptoms and perform an eye examination. As part of this exam they will use a highly specialised equipment called a slit lamp to examine the lens of your eye for signs of a cataract. Ophthalmologists are able to diagnose cataracts even at early stages.
Cataract surgery involves making a tiny incision in the eye, dissolving the cataract and removing it from the eye. An artificial lens is then implanted in place of the cataract.
Cataract surgery is necessary when the cataract interferes with your ability to see. Even minor cataracts can cause vision problems and patients can benefit from surgery. Cataract surgery can also be used to reduce dependence on reading glasses.
If you leave cataracts untreated your vision will progressively worsen. However, this deterioration is reversible with surgery, as long as you don’t have any other eye diseases.
Cataract treatment options
Once we’ve made a diagnosis, we’ll offer you a tailored treatment plan depending on your needs and the health of your eye. This includes whether we use a single focus or multifocal lens to replace your existing lens. A single focus lens will improve your distance vision, but you may still need to wear reading glasses to see things close up. A multifocal lens will improve your ability to see both near and far. Dr Singh is one of the most experienced users of multifocal lenses for cataracts in the country, and is also involved in the development of new multifocal lenses for the market. During your consultation your doctor will determine which of these lenses is best for you.
There are other options for treating short versus farsightedness with cataract surgery. A common method is using what is known as monovision. This is when one eye is made into a distance-viewing eye and the other eye is made into a near-viewing eye.
We also offer laser cataract surgery, which is generally used for patients under 50 years old. Regular cataract surgery involves using knives to make incisions in the eye. With laser cataract surgery, a laser is used to make all the incisions as well as dissolve the lens. Using a laser allows for greater precision and reduced surgical risks. As with the choice of lens, which procedure is used will depend on your particular needs.
Cataract surgery procedure and recovery
Cataract surgery normally takes around 20 minutes. You will be given twilight sedation, which will make you feel very comfortable and relieve any anxiety. After the surgery you will be able to return home the same day. The procedure can be done at one of our clinics or at the Hunter Eye Hospital in Charlestown. If you need cataract surgery on both eyes, you’ll only have surgery on one eye at a time. The surgeries will normally take place one to two weeks apart.
The recovery time following cataract surgery is generally quite short. It’s common to have blurry vision for a few days, but after that the vision usually starts to clear. You can normally return to driving in three days. For two weeks after the surgery you’ll need to avoid heavy lifting; stay out of dirty, dusty environments; and keep the area dry, so no swimming, but showering is fine. You also will be prescribed eye drops, which you need to use until the bottle is empty.
Whether your cataracts are in the early or late stages, Eye Specialists offers timely treatment by highly skilled doctors, along with excellent postoperative care and instructions. We are committed to our patient’s outcomes, safety and satisfaction.