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Southern Eye Specialists

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Cataracts

Cataracts are an opacity or haze in the lens of the eye. Cataract surgery replaces the cloudy lens with a clear lens. The lens becomes cloudy because the protein denatures like fresh milk becoming sour. It is a chemical change that leads to the cloudy lens and reduced eye sight. Sometimes a cataract will develop because of eye trauma, inflammation in the eye or other eye disease processes. Most often it occurs for no particular reason. A cataract that is left in the eye will slowly become more dense. It may change to a white cataract or it may in fact become brown and then black. The harder the cataract is the more energy and trauma to the eye is required to remove the cataract.

The best measure of a cataract is how much it affects your eye sight. It may reduce your eye sight for fine detail such as reading or seeing the TV or it may affect your vision more markedly in bright light when driving or at night.

Replacing the lens of the eye, a cataract operation, is a highly successful operation. It will allow the eye to see as well as the eye is capable of seeing in 98% of operations. If your eye has other problems such as age related macular degeneration then the cataract operation cannot restore your eye sight entirely to normal. A cataract operation does not mean you will be completely free and independent of spectacles. Spectacles fine tune the vision both for distance and near. To plan not to use spectacles is to compromise the best vision that your eye could have.

A cataract operation is usually done under a local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. Southern Eye Specialists provides the postoperative eye care including medications as part of the surgical fee. This is done for the convenience of our patients. Following cataract surgery you must be seen the next day by the Eye Specialist and at three to six weeks by an eye care practitioner.

When you consider having a cataract operation it is important to focus on the benefit to your eye sight at the time of the operation and in to the future against the risk of the operation. This will be discussed with you by your Eye Specialist at your first consultation appointment.

This page was last updated at 3:35PM on June 20, 2019.