What is a Cataract?
A cataract is clouding of the natural lens deep inside the eye. The natural lens is responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. The lens is a living tissue consisting of cells, water and protein. Over time, proteins degenerate, becoming opaque and blocking the light passing through the eye, making sight dull, blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are natural results of ageing. Often cataracts develop in both eyes at the same time. The symptoms vary, but include a gradual blurring of vision, halos around lights, glare and double vision. The cloudy natural lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
There are various intraocular lenses (IOL’s) available to suit each individual and not all are suitable for every patient. Dr Furness and the team at Insight Eye Clinic will fully educate you during your consultation as to the most suitable lens type based on your visual preferences and ocular measurements.
What To Expect on the Day of Surgery
We provide dilating pupil drops that you must apply 10 minutes before leaving home on the day of surgery. We ask that you do this to reduce the amount of time you must spend in hospital. Pupil dilation can take 30 minutes or longer. When you arrive at the hospital, you will be brought through to begin your admission process. This includes providing a mild sedation to keep you relaxed during your surgery. We recommend that your support person leave and collect you once the hospital staff call them. You can expect to be at the hospital for up to 3 hours.
Surgery takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Anaesthetic eye drops are used to ensure the eye is numb throughout the procedure. Once your surgery is complete, you will be brought to a cosy aftercare area to relax. A surgical team member will go through your medication chart again to ensure you feel confident with how and when to apply your aftercare eye drops. Whilst you are relaxing, we will call your support person to come and collect you to go home and rest, following the aftercare instructions.
This is a FineVision Trifocal lens which provides distance, intermediate and near vision.
This is an EDoF (extended depth of focus) IOL. Designed to provide vision from far through intermediate distances. They are ideal for patients who lead an active lifestyle and want to attain spectacle-free vision for most activities, but are sensitive to halos and glare at night.
What To Expect Following Surgery
You can expect your vision to improve within the first few days of having cataract surgery. You will be using eye drops to assist with the overall healing of your eyes; fending off infection and reducing any inflammation that may have been caused by your procedure. Your vision might still be blurry at this early stage whilst your eyes are healing and adjusting to their new vision. It can be one to three days until you are able to drive as your vision must meet driving standards following your procedure.
You should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for the first few weeks and be sure to discuss any activities you are unsure of with your doctor. You should also avoid bending over to prevent putting extra pressure on your eye(s).
Colours may appear brighter as you are now looking through a new, clear lens. A cataract is usually yellow or brown tinted, dulling the appearance of colours before surgery. You might experience slight discomfort following your procedure but this should disappear after three to seven days. Typically, complete healing occurs within eight weeks.
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
> Vision loss
> Discharge or increased eye redness
> Flashing lights or multiple floaters
> Persistent pain that cannot be helped by OTC pain medication or eye drops