A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. When you develop a cataract vision becomes cloudy and basic activities like reading, driving at night become more challenging. Almost everyone is susceptible to developing a cataract and this is a natural part of ageing. If a cataract has developed enough to interfere with your daily life then you may need to undergo cataract surgery. Do not be alarmed! Cataract surgery is a very quick, safe and efficient procedure and at BESH we perform thousands per year. Below is a comparison of vision with and without a cataract.
WHY DOES A CATARACT DEVELOP?
Cataracts form in the eye’s natural lens. Light passes through the lens of the eye which ultimately allows us to see. As we grow older the natural lens becomes more opaque and less flexible and parts of it become “clouded”. As the lens becomes more clouded, less light passes through which causes the vision to become more and more blurry. Cataracts develop slowly over time and in both eyes, however not necessarily at the same time.
HOW DO I KNOW I AM DEVELOPING A CATARACT?
Typical symptons include:
- Blurry or dim vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Sensitivity to light
- Light halos
- Fading or less color intensity
- Double vision in affected eye
Can Cataract be prevented?
There is no evidence or proof that a cataract can be prevented or slowed down, however a number of recommendations are recurrent in the medical / ophthalmology community:
- Check your eyes regularly – this will help early detection of cataracts, and potentially other diseases/conditions e.g. glaucoma
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle – try and maintain a healthy diet and if you smoke, consider quitting – especially Sheesha, as this is terribly harmful! Excessive alcohol consumption can also have adverse effect on your eyes
- Protect your eyes – reduce unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CATARACT SURGERY?
- Following your consultation you will be directed to the Surgery Scheduling Department where the following information will be provided:
- Date and time of your pre-operation medical examinations
- Amount to be paid / paperwork to be completed
- Date and time of your surgery
- Pre-operation medical examinations will take place 24-48 hours before the surgery – please arrange to spend approximately 2 hours at the hospital
- On the day of surgery you will be admitted to a room to wait for your surgery slot
- The doctor will apply drops to your eye (local anesthesia). During the surgery, the clouded, natural lens is removed and a clear artificial intra-ocular lens is implanted
- An hour later you will be back in your room to have a light breakfast, a quick rest and then you are good to go!
- A post-op visit will take place the following day