Cataract surgery is an operation used to treat cataracts that are affecting your daily life. More than 230,000 procedures are carried out each year in Australia, making it the most common operation of any specialty performed in the country.
Inside the eye is a structure called the lens, which separates the front half and back half of the eye. The lens is made of a soft material, which gets firmer as we age. As part of the aging process the lens can become cloudy, and then we call it a cataract. The lens is mostly made of proteins and water. Clouding of the lens occurs due to changes in the proteins and lens fibers.
Generally cataracts start to form once we reach 60 years of age, but sometimes trauma or medications can cause a cataract to develop more quickly. Occasionally cataracts develop earlier than we would expect for no apparent reason.
Normally the lens focuses light on the retina, which sends the image through the optic nerve to the brain. However if the lens is clouded by a cataract, light is scattered so the lens can no longer focus it properly, causing vision problems. To find out more contact us here.
Cataracts generally form very slowly. Initially the symptoms of cataract may be mild and you might only notice difficulty reading very fine print particularly in dim light situations.
As the cataract develops other symptoms become more apparent and can include;
Initially upgrading your glasses will improve your vision but eventually this will not help and when the cataract progresses to the point where it affects your ability to do normal everyday tasks you may need to consider cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a plastic intraocular lens (IOL) implant.
Surgery is often performed on one eye at a time with an interval of two weeks (if both eyes require surgery). In some circumstances, both eyes can be treated on the same day but this will be discussed during your consultation with Dr Furness. The vast majority of our patients undergo their cataract surgery using eye drop anaesthetic only, which allows for faster recovery and minimises complications.
Dr Furness performs the cataract surgery himself, whether you choose to undergo cataract surgery at a private or public hospital and will reassure you throughout this process. The Insight Eye Clinic team understand that a procedure involving your eyes can be scary so we are available at all times to answer any questions and help put you at ease.
Private cataract surgery is performed at Perth Eye Hospital in West Perth, while public cataract surgery is performed at Joondalup Health Campus.