It is a confronting experience in life when we realise our vision is failing. Unfortunately this is something that will happen to most of us eventually. With life expectancy so much longer than ever before, certain parts of our eye just don’t go the distance. A cataract is a prime example.
WHAT IS A CATARACT?
A cataract is not a new growth in the eye. It is simply a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. In rare cases under the influence of genetics, medicines or injury, this clouding may occur in young people. In most cases however it slowly develops, as the human lens ages.
Human lens with a cataract
HOW IS IT TREATED?
There is no medical treatment for cataract. For a while surgery can be postponed by updating glasses and using a strong reading light. Eventually these measures aren’t helpful and surgery may be offered to you as a solution.
This is usually the point at which you will meet us. It is normal to feel anxious about cataract surgery. After a lifetime of protecting the eye trust must suddenly be placed in an unfamiliar surgeon to perform a delicate operation. But at Mosman Eye Centre this is our most frequently performed and routine procedure. We have complete confidence in our ability to deliver excellent visual results as well as a positive patient experience.
SO I HAVE A CATARACT, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
At your first visit your eye will be tested and measurements taken. Dr. Moloney will discuss the surgery with you, what the typical experience is like, as well as what risks do exist.
There will be an important decision for you to make. When the cataract is removed a lens is implanted in its place to take over the job of focussing light. This lens can be calibrated to target reading focus, distance focus or in the appropriate patient, multifocal vision. For those with a strong glasses prescription or high astigmatism, this represents an opportunity to reduce your dependence on glasses to see. A large part of the initial consultation will focus on setting the best target of focus for your daily life. It is important to understand that no matter what choice is made, glasses may still be required to give the best focus for some activities.
Once a surgical plan has been made for you, a date will be arranged for you to undergo surgery. This is a day procedure, typically taking 2 hours out of your day, with the surgery itself taking between 5 and 30 minutes to complete.
HOW SOON CAN I SEE?
This varies between patients. Sharp vision may return in 1-2 days, or may take a few weeks depending on your eye. It is important to understand that even if visual recovery is slower, the final result will be the same.
Again, it is normal to be anxious. We expect you to be. We also know how to guide you through the experience, to clearer vision.