Just like lenses in glasses or microscopes, the lens in our eyes, which is located just behind our pupils, is a transparent disc. The lens focuses light towards the back of the eye, onto the retina. In doing so, the lens helps us see.
Cataracts occur when the eye lens develops areas of cloudiness. The risks of developing cataracts increase with age, smoking, injury and radiotherapy treatment. When cataracts become large enough over time, they stop light passing through to the retina, and in doing so they can really impair vision. Blurring, sensitivity to light and fading of colours are just some of the signs of cataracts. If this happens to you, the only way to permanently correct it is with a cataract operation.
What does cataract surgery involve?
The good news is that cataract surgery is a pretty straight forward operation that has a high success rate. A cataract operation entails removing the cloudy, cataract lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Because the artificial lens is placed inside your eye, where the cataract lens used to be, it is called an intraocular lens implant (IOL).
There are different types of IOL
The type of lens you will receive will be determined by a pre-surgery assessment, which will involve measuring your eyes and your eyesight, and establishing your particular requirements, for example whether you are long or short sighted, or if you favour one eye for distance and the other for reading.
Your cataract surgeon will help you choose between the available lenses described below, which are typically made of silicone or acrylic:
- Accommodating – This lens functions most like your natural lens as it can focus at different distances.
- Monofocal – This is the most commonly used IOL. Unlike the accommodating IOL, the monofocal IOL will focus at a single point, either short, middle or long distance. Having this IOL inserted means that you may need to wear glasses for distance and/or reading.
- Multifocal – This IOL has different areas on it which have different focal points, so that you can focus at a variety of distances. It works just like bi-focal glasses, so that you can switch from doing close work to looking in the distance. This multi-distance focus means that multifocal IOLs are quite complex, and it can take your brain several months to adapt to this new way of seeing.
- Toric – Most eyeballs are perfectly round. However, some eyeballs are more oval shaped, affecting the way light is focused on the retina. This biological feature, which is completely normal and harmless is called Astigmatism. The Toric IOL works to reduce the effects of Astigmatism, which means that if you currently wear correctional glasses for this condition, you may not need them after your cataract operation.
After your cataract operation
When your eyes have recovered from the cataract surgery, you will have no residual cataract symptoms. This means that your vision should be clearer, with less blurring and colours should regain their brightness.
About Ramsay Health Care UK
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons, ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your cataract surgery.Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.
Please contact us for more information