Dr Brett Rogers - Specialist Cataract Surgeon
Cataracts & Cataract Surgery with Dr Rogers
- Cataract is a very common, easily diagnosed and readily treatable eye condition that causes deterioration of vision due to clouding of the normally transparent, natural lens, inside the eye.
- Cataract is a normal age-related change that will eventually affect everybody.
The natural lens normally focuses light inside the eye allowing sharp vision.
Over time, the lens becomes gradually hazy and a hazy lens is referred to as ‘cataract’.
Light is then ‘scattered’ and the quality of the vision deteriorates, often as though one’s spectacles were becoming dirty.
- Common symptoms include foggy vision and glare/dazzle in the sun or with car headlights and reflective street signs when driving at night, especially on rainy nights.
- Cataract sufferers may frequently clean their spectacles, trying unsuccessfully to improve their vision.
Because vision loss is gradual, those affected often forget how good their vision once was, or think they are “just getting older”, not realising how bad their vision has become or that normal vision can easily be restored with cataract surgery.
Whilst in the early stages sunglasses can reduce glare, the only way to treat significant cataract and to regain normal vision, is with cataract surgery.
Standard Eye Charts typically have high contrast black letters on a white background and can be a very poor way of assessing the quality of vision in the presence of cataract. Vision tested on an eye chart might still seem quite good and a person with quite marked cataract can often still read quite small print on an eye chart, yet still be disabled by poor quality vision, poor contrast, glare and bright lights. Quality of life gradually suffers and affected people can become a danger on the road and be at increased risk of falls, hip fractures and car crashes.
Symptomatic patients are sometimes told that their cataract is “not yet bad enough to treat”, especially if they can still read smallish print on an eye chart; however cataract is ‘bad enough to treat’ when symptoms begin to interfere with everyday activities such as driving, reading and whenever cataract affects quality of life.
- There is no advantage in waiting until cataract becomes more advanced or ‘mature’.
- Cataracts cannot grow back and the new lens lasts a lifetime.
- Removing a cataract is one of the most common and successful operations performed.
Most cataract surgery is performed on those over the age of 50. About 10 per cent are in their fifties, 20 per cent in their sixties, 35 per cent in their seventies and 35 per cent are over the age of 80.
Almost everybody over the age of 60 is affected by cataract to some degree. Cataract slowly worsens and virtually everyone over the age of 80 would see very much better following cataract surgery.
Specialist Cataract Surgeon Dr Brett Rogers can safely remove the cloudy cataract using microsurgery and can replace the cataract with a clear, foldable, intraocular lens (IOL) to restore normal vision.
Most of Dr Rogers’ cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthesia.
Surgery takes 20-30 minutes and the total time in hospital is only 2-3 hours.
Modern techniques and state-of-the-art equipment mean recovery is quick and you can be back to normal activities within days.
Cataract surgery can eliminate shortsightedness (myopia) and long-sightedness (hypermetropia) and Dr Rogers often corrects another common spectacle problem called astigmatism (caused by an oval curvature of the surface of the eye) by using a ‘premium toric’ lens not normally used in public hospitals. This lens can give even better distance vision without spectacles than ordinary IOLs.
- Following such surgery, one can expect to have excellent distance and reading vision, and to see well enough to safely drive without spectacles (even if one has worn strong spectacles since childhood).
Public hospitals use a questionnaire and its ‘points’, to determine whether or not you can receive publicly funded cataract surgery and it is often wrongly assumed that a low ‘score’, means that the cataract is ‘not yet bad enough to treat’; however the public hospital ‘threshold score’ is determined by available funding and those missing out often have Dr Rogers perform their cataract surgery at Southern Cross Hospital where ‘scoring’ and rationing does not apply and where surgery can be done straightaway.
- Diagram showing effect of cataract (PNG, 2.6 MB)