What are Cataracts?
A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens of your eye. It is rather like a ‘bubbly bathroom window’ – it is difficult to see out of. There is no medicine, laser or eye drops that can make it better. If you want to see brighter and more sharply then a cataract operation will be necessary.
Often the first symptom is difficulty in driving at night, due to glare. Other cataract symptoms include:
- Blurred Dim Vision, and
- Occasionally Double Vision
Blurry vision due to cataracts
Difficulty with night driving due to cataracts
Glare caused by cataracts
At the moment, cataract can only be treated with surgery. It is the most common operation in the developed world.
A cataract operation is done under local anaesthetic as day case surgery which mean you will be awake – Mr Mookhtiar’s preferred way of performing cataract surgery is using eye drops only as anaesthesia. This removes the worry of sharp needles around the eye and has the benefit of faster recovery. So you arrive and go home the same day.
The operation involves going inside the eye to remove the cloudy lens (the cataract) and replacing it with a clear acrylic one that stays in the eye permanently.
Cataract surgery is very successful and serious complications are rare. Because it is necessary to go inside the eye there is the possibility of introducing infection. This is not very good news but thankfully extremely rare (less than 1 case in 1,000). My continuous personal audit of my cataract surgery shows no operative complication in over 99% with serious complication of under 0.5%.
After the operation the eye may feel gritty for a few days which is normal. The best vision comes after a few weeks when the eye has settled down. It is at this time that new glasses can be got. You can wear you old glasses in the meantime but the prescription will be wrong for you and so blur the vision. Wearing your old glasses will not harm the operated eye. There are no hard rules regarding driving but it seems sensible not to drive for several days so the eye can settle.