What is Cataract?
Cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, usually due to age. It causes blurred vision and can lead to blindness. It is the commonest cause of blindness worldwide.
Read on to find out more about this common condition and how it is treated.
What Causes Cataract?
Cataract develops in all of us as we age, especially with long term exposure to sunlight. It may also develop in younger patients, especially those with high myopia or diabetes, after eye injury or inflammation, or as a side-effect of steroid medication.
What are the Symptoms?
Gradual blurring or yellowing of vision can occur. Colours may appear duller. Some experience glare in bright light conditions or at night, or a change in their spectacle prescription as the cataract worsens.
How are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Cataracts are diagnosed by the eye doctor using a slit lamp microscope. A comprehensive eye check is done to exclude other abnormalities of the eye before the decision is taken to proceed with cataract surgery.
When do I Need Cataract Surgery?
In the past, cataract surgery was performed only when the cataract was ‘ripe enough’. Due to huge advances in surgical technique, surgery is now recommended earlier when blurred vision starts to affect one’s daily activities.
Surgery is the only effective method in the management of cataract.
It is performed as a day surgery procedure (Medisave claimable) under local anesthesia in less than 20 minutes. Advances in sutureless (no stitches) and femtosecond laser assisted (bladeless) small wound phacoemulsification surgery using ultrasound energy now allow patients to enjoy rapid recovery in their vision by the very next day after surgery. With an appropriate choice of intraocular lens implants (IOL) including aspheric monofocal, toric (astigmatic) or multifocal (bifocal, trifocal and extended focus) lenses, patients can achieve good vision for both distance and reading. This means that presbyopia (‘lao hua’) can be treated. Medishield Life can be used too for this surgery.
As each type of lens implant has different strengths and weaknesses, it is important to discuss your needs with your eye doctor in order to select the most appropriate lens implant for your lifestyle. Come to our clinic to learn more.
A cataract cannot grow again after cataract surgery. However, 20% of people have a thickening of the capsular bag that receives the lens implant. This thickening can be treated with YAG laser, which is done as an outpatient procedure. Come for an eye check up if you have blurred vision after cataract surgery.