Cataract Surgery

Learn everything about your treatment

Overview

Procedure time

15-45 minutes

Overnight stay

Day case

Anaesthetic

Local

Final results

Cataract surgery overview

What is a cataract?

This cataract surgery overview page aims to explain what cataracts are and how your doctor will treat them.

A cataract is the medical term for a cloudy white spot which forms on the lens of your eye. As the lens is usually clear, when cataracts form it can affect your vision. This can cause blurriness, haloes of light and problems with seeing colours. Cataracts are most commonly linked to growing older and so most often affect adults. However, it is possible for babies to be born with them as a part of some rare conditions. Other causes of cataracts include:

  • Trauma or damage to the eye
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Prior eye surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Extreme sun exposure
  • Long term use of steroids

If left without treatment, the cataract will continue to form and your vision will worsen. Ultimately, this can lead to blindness. Therefore, it is important to speak to your doctor about your options.

Example of Cataract in Cataract Surgery Overview page

What can cataract surgery achieve?

Of course, it is for you to decide whether cataract surgery is the right option for you. Sometimes when people have early cataracts, their vision is not affected. In these cases,  they may be able to manage with new glasses and ensuring that they read with a good light source. However, cataracts will continue to develop once they have appeared and so this is not a permanent solution. This is important to remember, especially if you drive, as you may not be able to continue without receiving treatment. The only proven way of restoring your vision is to undergo surgery to remove the cataracts.

To find more information on Cataracts and the potential management options, you can visit the NHS website. It would also important to speak to your ophthalmologist directly as they will be the best person to give you advice.

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