A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens
This lens is inside the eye just behind the pupil and has the ability to focus on objects both far and near while you are young enough. Typically at around age 42-45 years the lens becomes dysfunctional and cannot focus as well any more. This is when people typically get reading glasses, bifocals or varifocal glasses. If the lens starts becoming cloudy, the vision starts blurring and now you have a cataract. The best analogy is thinking of an egg about to be fried in a frying pan. You can see the yellow yolk surrounded by clear material through which you can clearly see the bottom of the pan. This clear material is the closest thing in nature to the natural lens. Once the egg starts frying the clear material becomes white, then yellow and eventually brown / black as the egg cooks. This is exactly the same process occurring in the lens as the cataract becomes less clear and more cloudy. The only treatment currently available for cataracts that are impacting vision is that of cataract surgery and intra-ocular lens (IOL) implantation.
The only treatment once the cataract is impacting vision significantly is cataract surgery
Cataracts occur when the natural lens inside the eye starts to become cloudy. Once it gets to the point where it is bothering you then cataract surgery can be considered. Modern cataract surgery is safe and besides improving your vision, it can also reduce your dependency on glasses. The first 2 videos on the right show the thought process around cataract surgery and the options available with cataract surgery.
The third video shows Yag-laser capsulotomy for a condition called “After-cataract” or “Posterior Capsule Opacification.” This can occur within weeks to months to years after cataract surgery and takes less than a minute to treat with a Yag laser in the consulting room as an out-patient.
After the cataract has been removed it needs to be replaced with an intra-ocular lens (IOL). If an IOL was not placed in the eye, the glasses required after surgery to allow the eye to focus would be extremely thick. Placing an IOL in the eye will allow some patients to see without the use of glasses. The Harmoni IOL above allows the optical part of the IOL to be swapped if we find that the vision without glasses is not enough and that glasses are still required. By swapping the optical part the need for glasses can be greatly reduced in a contolled and accurate fashion.
I hardly know how to begin to thank you for the amazing results of my cataract surgery, an outcome which far exceeded even my most optimistic expectations.
My distant vision seems better than it ever was before and, even more marvellous and an extra bonus I think, is that I can still read quite well without using my glasses. I had thought things would revert to the situation of a few years ago when I really could not read at all without glasses and would have to make sure I carried my reading glasses with me all the time.
Thank you too for all the information you gave me prior to the operation. I really appreciated this. I know I was very nervous on the days of the operations but being so well informed had really calmed me down to some extent. I think without this I would have been really hysterical and could not have gone through with the procedure.
Everybody at the Wellington Eye Clinic was extremely helpful and supportive. Thanks to Ann-Marie, Avril, Cian, the nurses and receptionists. They all contributed to making a visit there, even in such scary circumstances, a pleasant experience.
In the Beacon Hospital everyone I met was also extremely helpful and supportive. The anaesthetist, Dr Silviu Gligor, was brilliant and I had absolutely no after effects from the anaesthetic. The anaesthetic nurse Abie (I hope I have the name right) looked after me so well that I was amazingly almost able to forget that I was waiting for an operation.
I am even hoping that the amazing outcome and the very good overall experience in the Wellington Eye Clinic and in the Beacon Hospital may have worked another miracle. After a bad medical mishap that happened years ago and caused me to avoid any type of medical treatment and sometimes even medical consultations, I think that this experience may have restored my faith in the medical profession.