Definition: A cataract is the opacification of the crystaline lens
Symptoms: It typically causes hazy/blurred vision, glare, colour disturbance, and increase in short-sight.
Types: They can be variable depending on the reason for the cataract: nuclear, cortical, diabetic, posterior subcapsular, congenital, traumatic
Treatment: Cataracts are now treated by surgical removal using an ultrasound probe with aspiration followed by insertion of a new intraocular lens made of flexible acrylic material. It is performed as a day case and requires no needles or stitching.
Lens choices: There are now a wide range of lenses available from single focus lenses to toric lenses (for astigmatism) to multifocal and accomodative lenses (for both reading and distance vision). Lenses can also have coating such as heparin (for patients with uveitis) to yellow tints (which are protective against harmful ultraviolet light). Your LEC surgeon will discuss all the options available and suitable for your needs since all lenses have their advantages and disadvantages.
Difficult Cases: Not all cataracts are alike so the surgeon must have the experience and ability to deal with all the complicated cases. These range from anxious patients to patients who have prostate disorders and take a common drug called Flomax which causes 'Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS)'. Patients who already have glaucoma or diabetes or have had previous eye surgery may have cataracts which may behave unpredictably requiring extra manoeveurs such as capsule tension ring or iris hook insertion to stabilize the lens capsule which holds the new intraocular lens. At LEC, not only are the surgeons adept in these cases, we have the facility to deal with all cataract complications with the help of the vitreoretinal surgeon.
'COMPLICATIONS' from Cataract Operations: Unfortunately, some patients have had a complication from their cataract surgery. Maybe the new intraocular lens is unstable, dropped to the retina, or the previous surgeon was unable to remove the entire cataract. We are experts at rectifying these issues and are frequently asked to help fix these eyes where something has gone wrong.