What is a Cataract?

We all have a natural lens that sits behind the iris or coloured part of the eye. The function of the lens is to focus incoming light onto the back of the eye so that we can see.

As we get older, the lens slowly becomes cloudy. Eventually, this can affect the ability of light to reach the back of the eye, resulting in symptoms such as blurred vision, glare, and difficulty with activities such as driving at night.

How is Cataract treated?

The only effective treatment for cataract is cataract surgery. This is usually performed as a day surgery procedure under local anaesthetic. The cataract is removed with special instruments, and a plastic lens is put into its place. The plastic lens is clear which improves vision to the treated eye.

What is Laser Cataract surgery?

In laser assisted cataract surgery, a laser is used to perform several steps of the procedure, including formation of the corneal wounds, and softening the cataract so that it is easier to remove. Some surgeons believe that the use of the laser makes cataract surgery more controlled and predictable, although there is an added cost to the procedure when the laser is used.

3 Essential questions and considerations to discuss with Dr Raj:
  1. I have cataract but do I need to have cataract surgery?
    Not all cataracts need to be removed straight away. Whilst cataract surgery is safe and effective, it is still a surgical procedure and not without risks. It is important that your ophthalmologist discusses possible risks and benefits of surgery specific to your individual circumstances, and helps you to weigh up your options. Ultimately our goal is to improve your quality of life by improving your vision.
  2. What type of plastic lens is best suited to me?
    Several different types of intraocular lenses can be placed in your eye, each with advantages and disadvantages. Your ophthalmologist should discuss this with you.
  3. What are the pros and cons of laser cataract surgery?
    Laser cataract surgery is a new technology, and there is currently much debate as to whether any technical benefits of the procedure produce a better outcome, and whether the extra cost is justified.