Cataract is the term used to describe opacification (or clouding) of the eyes natural lens. As it blocks the light path entering your eye, some common symptoms include: blurred vision, glare, halo and difficulty reading. It is a process which comes with time, and surgery is currently the most effectively form of treatment for this.
Cataract forms with age and is common amongst elderly. Some other causes include medications( steroids), retinal surgery, previous eye trauma, and other genetic/ congenital causes.
Cataract surgery is a safe and highly developed treatment for removing the cloudy cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens. This is done through a very small incision on the clear part of the eye. The incision is so small it usually self-seals and doesn’t require sutures. The vast majority of cataract patients have no complications during or following the surgery. A full recovery from surgery can range from a short few days to few months. Most patients will see clearer the next day after surgery.
The main benefits of cataract surgery include:
This is common the next day after surgery, and it should resolve within hours.
This is common following surgery of the eye, the eyedrops prescribed will be helpful in settling this.
In the eye, swelling can offer in the front of the eye (cornea) or the back of the eye following surgery. Most of these will usually resolve with eye drops.
It is common that most patient will need glasses if not for near, then for distance sometimes. This will be discussed during your consultations.
While the aim of the surgery is to take the cataract out, sometimes the cataract may escape deeper into the eye. If this happens, a second surgery will be required to remove the cataract completely. Your vision may be blurred during before the second surgery is complete. Retinal detachment occurring after cataract surgery is uncommon, this will also require a second surgery to repair the retina.
This complication while rare (<1:1000), can be sight threatening. If your operated eye becomes red, painful and vision drops few days after surgery, please contact the surgery urgently or go to the nearest emergency department immediately.
It can be common to see that the artificial lens becomes a bit cloudy (which may mimick cataracts again). This can be easily cleaned by our doctors using lasers in eye clinic.
During your comprehensive consultation, our doctors will explain in more detail regarding the condition and what the surgery involves. You will also under precise measurement of the dimensions of your eye. This allows us to determine the best lens to replace the natural lens.
If you wear contact lenses, please ensure you stop using them for 2 weeks (soft lenses) to 4 weeks (hard lenses) before to the eye measurements for the operated eye are made.
If you have had previous laser eye surgery (PRK / LASIK / SMILE) please advise our doctors as this will affect the measurement method and calculations required to select your artificial lens.
On the day of surgery, you will first attend the CBD eye clinic to check in and have eye drops in the eye. The eyedrops will dilate the pupil of the eye planned for surgery. When the dilating drops have worked, we will guide you to the operating theaters of Sydney Eye Hospital. Which is just a short walk away.
The cataract surgery is done under local anaesthesia. It will involve that you relax and lie flat on your back during the operation. Vast majority of the surgery will take about 10mins, however more complex cases may take longer depending on the condition of the cataract.
After the surgery, there will be an eye patch covering the operated eye. Please ensure that you have friend or family who will be able to take you home and look after you
We will remove the dressing over the eye the following day and examine the eye. There will be two eye drops that will need to be continued for 4 weeks.
After the surgery is complete, the cataract should no longer be clouding your vision. Please ensure that youDO:
Most patient who normally drive will be able to return to driving after 3-4 days following surgery (our doctors will let you know if otherwise). Once the vision recovers above the legal requirement, it is safe to return to driving. Please take time to get use to your new vision and exercise cautious when driving.