Tel. 07730 714619
Int. +44 7730 714619

Providing eye surgery in Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and all surrounding areas.

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What is a cataract?

A dense cataractThe lens in the eye (also known as the crystalline lens) focuses light on to the retina to produce a clear image. As we get older the lens changes, becoming browner, and can develop some cloudy areas. This may blur the vision making reading, driving or watching TV difficult. This is called a cataract.

The ageing process may be asymmetrical so that one eye may be more affected that the other. A cataract is not a skin that grows over your eyes, but a cloudiness of the lens itself in the eye.

What are the symptoms of cataract?

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty reading fine print
  • Colours seem faded
  • Frequent changes required to your spectacle prescription
  • Glare or dazzle, particularly with bright sunlight or oncoming headlights

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts are usually natural results of ageing but may occur in younger people for a variety of reasons including:

  • Trauma or injury to the eye
  • Following other surgery to the eye
  • Diseases such as diabetes or glaucoma
  • After prolonged inflammation of the eye
  • Occasionally there may be a family history of cataract

When should a cataract be removed?

Cataracts can take many years to develop and in the early stages no treatment may be required. However, if the symptoms affect your normal activities you may consider an operation to remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens implant. This will then allow the light to pass through to the back of the eye again. A cataract does not need to be "ripe" before surgery; however you may wish to consider surgery when you believe that the reduction in your vision is sufficient to take on the small risks of surgery.

How is the cataract removed?

Cataract surgery is usually performed as a daycase using local anaesthetic. A tiny self-sealing incision is made on the surface of the eye. The cloudy lens is removed by phacoemulsification where ultrasound is used to fragment the cataract and remove it. An artificial lens implant is then placed in the eye, via the small incision. The lens is folded in half as it is inserted through the small incision, and then opens up inside the eye. This is much like folding a letter to get it inside a postbox!

Example of how a cataract is removed

Are there any risks?

Cataract surgery is a fantastically successful procedure in the majority of cases. However, as with any other operation small risks do exist. The most significant risks are of infection, bleeding inside the eye, increased risk of retinal detachment and even loss of vision in very rare cases. When you see Mr Charles he will discuss the operation in more detail, together with the benefits and risks of cataract surgery, and what form of anaesthetic would be best for you.

Complicated cataract surgery

One of the risks of cataract surgery is that the cataract may fall into the back of the eye during surgery. Patients are at increased risk if they have a "wobbly" lens, pseudoexfoliation (a condition associated with glaucoma), extreme short-sightedness (myopia), previous vitrectomy, previous trauma to the eye or if the cataract is dense. If this occurs then you will be referred for further treatment to a vitreoretinal surgeon, such as Mr Charles. Mr Charles has extensive experience of both cataract surgery and vitreoretinal surgery and is therefore well placed to manage such difficult patients, as well as performing more routine cataract surgery.

Click the download below for more information regarding "after your surgery".

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