Cataract surgery tailored to YOUR needs

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Referral to recovery: here is what to expect

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a lens that has become cloudy due to age, certain medications or medical conditions.

Need a few diagrams, to be sorted later

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The natural lens in the eye is transparent when we are young, allowing the eye to see clearly through it and focus on different distances. Over the years the lens becomes more cloudy due to a change in the lens proteins. This change is usually gradual, although some types of cataract can develop quickly.

Risk factors that may speed up the development of a cataract include:

  • Ultraviolet exposure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Steroids
  • Trauma to the eye

What are the symptoms?

Most cataracts develop slowly and the symptoms develop gradually, although some types of cataracts (posterior subcapsular, in particular) can develop quite quickly. In the early stages, the symptoms may be very minimal and a person may not even be aware of a cataract.

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As the cataract progresses, the following symptoms become more apparent:

  • Blurry vision
  • Hazy vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Reduced night vision and difficulty driving
  • Difficulty seeing the street signs at a distance
  • Difficulty recognising people as they walk towards you
  • Reduced brightness

How is a cataract treated?

Only cataracts that are causing problems require treatment. The only way to effectively treat a cataract is with surgery. Drops or laser surgery alone will not treat the cataract. Once a cataract starts to form, the process cannot be reversed or slowed down. Cataract surgery is done under light sedation and local anaesthetic. You will not feel or see the surgery.

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Cataract surgery takes place at our on-site day hospital. The anaesthetist will administer the sedation to ensure that you will be asleep while the local anaetheitc is injected. This way, you remain comfortable from start to finish.

The surgery is done through a small incision (2-2.5mm) which is self-sealing and doesn’t usually require any sutures. The cataract is removed through the dilated pupil using a fine ultrasound instrument that breaks up and sucks out the cataract. This is called phacoemulsification. The artificial lens is then inserted in the same place where the natural lens used to sit.

Every operation carries some risks. The risk depends on the overall health of your eye. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation.

Choosing the right lens

Whether you require best possible clarity of distance vision to see that golf ball, to get back to driving with confidence, or whether you really want to get rid of glasses, at MyEyeSpecialist, we have the technology and the expertise to help you choose the lens that will best suit your needs.

We have a range of lens options available, including monofocal, toric, extended vision and multifocal lenses, as well as blended vision and monovision options.

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Just like there are different types of glasses (bifocal, multifocal, readers, etc), there are different types of artificial lenses. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will talk you through the options available. These include:

  • Monofocal or single distance lens: This lens offers excellent quality of vision. Glasses are still required for intermediate vision (eg computer use) and reading but the need for distance glasses is minimized as much as possible. Some people choose to have clear near vision and use glasses for distance.
  • Toric lenses: These lenses are designed to minimize astigmatism.
  • Multifocal/extended range of vision lens: This premium lens is an excellent choice for people who wish to minimize the need for glasses. Not everyone is suitable for this lens.
  • Blended vision or monovision : One eye is focused for clear distance vision, the other for intermediate or reading vision. With both eyes working together, both distance and close up are seen clearly. This minimizes the need for glasses. You can have a trial prior to surgery to see if this option suits you.

Cost of cataract surgery

Our receptionists can give you a price range for your surgery, which also includes the post-operative check up. The exact quote will be confirmed once we know which lens option has been chosen and the extent of your health fund cover. Lenses are different in price and it may cost more to have a toric lens or a premium lens. You may wish to contact your health fund to check if you are covered for cataract surgery.