Cataracts is a condition of the eye that results in the clouding of the lens of the eyeball. Cataracts impact the light entering the eye and prevent clear images from appearing on the eye’s retina; causing mild, moderate, even severe blurred vision.
Typically cataracts are associated with aging, with over half of the people in Australia over age 70 either have a cataract or have already had cataract surgery. Cataracts generally occur later in life as the lens structure and proteins within the human eye slowly deteriorate with age. In addition to age, other risk factors that lead to cataracts include smoking, UV overexposure and diabetes.
During the evaluation of your eye health we will carefully examine your lens for signs of cataract formation. If a cataract is noticed and the clouding is causing visual disruption, your optometrist will refer you to a trusted and respected surgeon for a consultation to discuss cataract surgery, which is the only known treatment for cataracts. Fitzgerald Optometry in Williamstown will be there for you providing pre and post cataract surgery care.
Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called “crystalline lens”) that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over the time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing blurry then eventually a loss of vision. During cataract surgery, a patient’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear synthetic lens to restore the clear vision.
Cataract surgery involves the removal of the natural lens and replacement by an artificial intraocular lens, known as an IOL. Cataract surgery is generally performed by an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) in an day surgery, rather than an inpatient setting, in a surgical centre or hospital. Surgery usually requires local anesthesia, either topical, peribulbar, or retrobulbar, most times causing little or no discomfort to the patient.
Well over 95% of cataract surgeries are successful in restoring clear vision, with a low complication rate. Outpatient care, high volume, minimally invasive, small incision phacoemulsification with quick post-op recovery has become the standard of care in cataract surgery all over the world.