Cataracts

A medical condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy.

€4360 - €5310 per eye

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What is it?

Overview

Cataracts are a very common eye condition. As we get older, the lens inside our eye becomes less clear and instead turns misty, or cloudy. A cloudy lens is said to have a cataract. A cataract can get worse over time, gradually making your vision hazy. 

Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Dulled vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Ghost or double images.
  • Glasses no longer provide adequate vision
  • Feeling that your glasses are constantly dirty despite cleaning.

What causes it?

Cataracts are most commonly caused by normal ageing however they can be caused by a number of things such as diabetes, trauma, medications (such as steroids) or eye surgery for other eye conditions. Most people over the age of 65 have some changes in their lens and most of us will develop a cataract in time. About 30% of people will require cataract surgery if the poor vision bothers them enough/ has an impact on their daily life. 

How is it treated?

Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract.  Our cataract procedures are performed at the Beacon Hospital.  The procedures are performed one eye at a time, generally 1- 2 weeks apart.

During a cataract procedure, the natural lens of the eye is surgically removed and replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens or IOL. There are a wide range of artificial lenses (IOLs) to choose from when undergoing cataract surgery and we will help you select the correct IOL for your visual needs. 

We offer two kinds of cataract surgery at Wellington Eye Clinic and the surgeon will help you to decide which type of cataract surgery best suits your needs and expectations. 

  1. Traditional Cataract Surgery
  2. Refractive Cataract Surgery

Which is right for me?

Traditional or Refractive cataract surgery

When is the right time to have cataract surgery?

Don't let cataracts impact your quality of life

IOLs explained

Monofocal versus Advanced Technology (AT-IOLs)

What to Expect

Initial Consultation

The first step is to book your initial consultation, known as a cataract evaluation. You will attend the clinic for a full eye health check. This appointment will last up to 2.5 hours. You will undergo tests and scans before a consultation with the doctor. During the consultation you will meet with the doctor to confirm the presence of a cataract, grade the severity of the cataract and determine what is the best option for you.

Please note: Your pupils will be dilated so you will be unable to drive for the remainder of the day following the appointment. Contact lenses must be left out 2 days (soft lenses) and 3 weeks (for hard lenses) prior to an evaluation as they distort the natural shape of the cornea.

Day of surgery

On the day of surgery, while the procedure only takes 30 minutes per eye, you will be in the Beacon Hospital for approximately 4 hours. This allows time to complete your admission to the Day Unit, preoperative checks such as blood pressure and dilate your pupils before your procedure. The anaesthetist will also discuss sedation options with you and administer this prior to your procedure. When your procedure is over, you will relax (with tea and toast!) in the recovery room for approximately 40 minutes. In line with Beacon Hospital's policies, we ask that you have a family member/ friend collect you at the reception area of the Day Unit in Beacon Hospital after your procedure.

Post-operative care

We advise all patients to go home and rest on the day of their procedure. Most patients find the procedure comfortable with only mild discomfort for the remainder of the day. Prescriptions for pre and post operative care will be provided at the time of booking your surgery appointment and you should have these prescriptions filled prior to going home. You will use 3 kinds of drops for 1 month after the procedure. These are intended to reduce inflammation and infection as your eye heals. 

 You will return to the clinic for post-operative visits as per the below schedules: 

  • Day 1 (only if specifically requested by the Surgeon, majority of patients it is not required)
  • 1 week
  • 6 weeks
  • 6- 12 months

Frequently asked questions

How long will it take for my vision to settle after surgery?

You may notice an improvement in your vision the day after surgery but as the dilation drops are still wearing off, we do not expect your vision to be sharp yet. You will notice an improvement in the first week but the vision may fluctuate in the weeks after surgery as it takes 6 weeks for vision to fully settle. After surgery, as the eye heals, it locks the artificial lens (IOL) into its final resting position inside the eye. As this final resting position is not 100% predictable pre surgery, laser vision correction procedures can be performed to fine tune the result.

What is the downtime after surgery?

For those having Cataract procedures, we recommend the day of surgery and day after surgery off work. See table below which details the popular activities and the amount of time you should wait before resuming these activities. 

 Safe to resume post CLR or Cataract surgery
Bending1 week
Bikram Yoga4 weeks
Boxing6 weeks
Bungee Jumping6 weeks
Driving3-5 days
Eyelash tinting/ extensions6 weeks
Eyebrow threading/ waxing6 weeks
Eye make-up 1 week
Face make-up2 days
Football6 weeks
Flying 

1 week   (short haul) 

2 weeks (long haul)

GAA6 weeks
Gardening1 week
Golf1 week
Gym1 week
Hairwash2 days
Hair colouring1 week 
Horseriding2 weeks
Hurling6 weeks
Jogging1 week
Karate6 weeks
Lifting2 weeks
Parachute Jumping4 weeks 
Pilates1 day
Rugby6 weeks
Sailing2 weeks
Sauna4 weeks
Scubadiving3 months
Shower1 day
Skateboarding1 day
Skiing2 weeks
Smoking1 day
Squash6 weeks
Steamroom4 weeks
Sunbathing/ Sunbed1 week
Swimming2 weeks 
Surfing2 weeks
Tennis1 week
Trampoline4 weeks
Weight lifting2 weeks
Yoga1 week

I am worried about sedation, what if I do not go asleep?

It is normal for patients to be nervous prior to the procedure as many do not want to be awake or remember the procedure. The Surgeon will recommend the sedation type for your procedure (local with sedation or general anaesthetic). While most procedures are performed with local anaesthetic and sedation, we ask all patients to fast so if you are not comfortable during the procedure, the Anaesthetist can convert to a general anaesthetic if required. You will be monitored closely during the procedure to ensure that you are comfortable and the majority of patients fall asleep during the procedure without needing general anaesthesia.

How will I feel leaving the hospital?

You will feel tired leaving the hospital as the sedation can take some time to wear off. You will have less energy due to the fact you are fasting so it is normal to feel tired. You may notice some improvement in vision but we expect your vision to be blurry as the dilation drops used before your procedure take 10-30 hours to wear off. If you are experiencing discomfort after the procedure, you should let the nurses in the Day Unit know before you are discharged so they can give you some pain relief. If you are sore/uncomfortable at home after the procedure, you can take over the counter pain relief such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

Can a cataract come back again after it is removed?

No. Once a cataract has been removed, it cannot come back again. However, the term “after cataract” is sometimes used to describe a layer of cells that can build on the artificial lens months or even years after cataract surgery. The medical term for this is posterior capsular opacification. It is sometimes referred to as an after cataract as the symptoms are similar to a cataract; blurred vision, glasses not correcting the vision sufficiently. However this is easily cleared with a laser procedure, performed in under 10 minutes at a regular clinic appointment. This laser procedure is called a YAG laser capsulotomy and it clears an opening in the layer of cells to provide clear vision again. 

Pricing

Before Treatment

Cataract Evaluation

€300

Treatment

If health insurance does not cover it

Cataract Surgery

€4360 - €5310 per eye

Surgeon fee (€2500), hospital fee (€1500), anaesthetist fee (€360) and cost of the lens (€0-€950). Approximate pricing as cost of lens can vary based on strength and lens type used. Full written quote will be provided prior to scheduling surgery.

Follow ups

Typically you should come for a check up at least once every 2 years.

1 week - 4 years (Doctor)

€150

1 week - 4 years (Optometrist only)

€100

After 4 years (Doctor & Optometrist)

€250

Additional scans may be required with additional cost of €60 each.Maximum 2 scans chargeable per visit.

After 4 years (Optometrist only)

€150

Additional scans may be required with additional cost of €60 each.Maximum 2 scans chargeable per visit.

Older couple laughing at a phone, sitting on a bench

Book a cataract evaluation

If you, your G.P. or local Optometrist suspect that you may have a cataract book your cataract evaluation to have your cataract graded and learn about the treatment options that best suit your needs.