Traditional Cataract Surgery
Micro-Incision Cataract Surgery
When you look at something, light travels into your eyes through the pupil focussing through the lens onto the retina – a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. In order to focus light properly, the lens must be clear. If the lens becomes cloudy, this is called a cataract.
Because the lens consists of water and protein, the lens continues to grow layers on its surface, hardening as we age. Protein in the lens will then clump together and become cloudy in some areas preventing light from passing clearly through the eye.
Most age related cataracts develop gradually, so you might not notice signs or changes in your vision in the early stages of the cataract developing. Therefore, the only way you can determine whether you have cataracts or not is through a comprehensive, dilated eye exam.
If you have been diagnosed with a cataract, you will need surgery to remove it in order to see well again. Fortunately, we live in a time where cataract surgery is a safe, fast procedure, with excellent results.
There are several types of cataract surgery - traditional cataract surgery, and the new bladeless laser cataract surgery being the commonest, and the two most performed procedures here at Morningside Eye.
The traditional micro-incision cataract surgery, otherwise known as “phacoemulsification”, is routinely performed here at Morningside Eye. It entails making tiny incisions (1.8mm-2.8mm depending on the lens you choose) in the eye, and inserting an instrument about the size of a pen tip to break up and remove the cataract, using ultrasound energy.
The procedure is painless - a local anaesthetic is used to ensure you are comfortable, and sedation with a specialist Anaesthetist is standard practice. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial replacement lens or “IOL” is inserted through the same tiny incision and set into its permanent position. The entire procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes, and most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day. Most patients have improved vision the day after their procedure, with vision continuing to improve over the following days to weeks.
If you think you may have a cataract, feel free to call us for an appointment.