CATARACT SURGERY

Just behind the pupil in your eye is the lens. This focuses the light entering the pupil so that it makes a clear image in the retina. The retina changes the image into a nerve impulse so that the brain can see it. Usually the lens of the eye is crystal clear so that light passes through it easily. If any cloudiness develops in the lens then it starts to block the light passing through. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract.

If you have a cataract getting in the way of your daily activities and affecting your ability to drive or read, you may need cataract surgery.

Typical early signs of cataracts are:
-blurred vision
-dazzle from lights (such as oncoming car headlights)
-increasing short sightedness (myopia)
-colours become duller  

To remove a cataract, we replace the cloudy natural lens in the eye with a new plastic lens. This new lens is implanted into the space which was occupied by your natural lens.  

Before your operation, you will be referred to see our specialist optometrist for an assessment. They will assess your suitability for surgery at N2S, ensuring your cataracts are within the NHS criteria as well as checking your general health and ocular history. Measurements will be taken of your eye to determine the strength of the replacement lens needed. We always aim to correct your distance vision and remove the need for glasses, but this isn’t always possible depending on various factors.
The purpose of this operation is to remove the cataract and improve the clarity of your vision, not correct your prescription. You WILL need reading glasses following the procedure.  

The procedure itself is very quick, often taking less than 30 minutes. Local anaesthetic drops are applied to your eye to ensure you don’t feel anything. The surgeon will make a small, self-healing incision at the edge of your cornea, just a few millimetres across. The cataract is then removed through a process called phacoemulsification, which uses an ultrasonic probe to break down the cataract and aspirate it from the eye. It is at this point the new lens is inserted.  

Following the procedure you will leave with a post-operative instruction pack and eye drops to use regularly.