Overview - Cataract Surgery
Removal of a cataract may be necessary when vision has worsened to the point where daily activities, reading, driving and hobbies are affected, or if personal safety is at risk. If vision is unaffected or only slightly affected by a cataract, no treatment is necessary. Cataracts cannot be cured by any type of medication, eye exercise, alternative therapy, diet or glasses. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract.
Waiting until the cataract is fully mature before having surgery may result in additional risks such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, or diabetes. This may make the surgery more risky. If the fully mature cataract is not treated, it may cause other serious damage to the eye, such as secondary glaucoma or even blindness.
Before making any decision about treatment, your ophthalmologist will need to assess your eyes and general health. They will:
- Carefully examine the external and internal structures of both eyes.
- Assess your vision with modern tests that determine how much vision has been affected.
- Determine whether the cataract can be removed safely and successfully.
- Determine whether any other eye conditions or diseases are present and need treatment.
- Need to know your complete medical history such as health problems, medical risks, allergies, blood disorders and medicines you take.
After this thorough examination, your ophthalmologist will discuss the diagnosis with you and recommend the best treatment.
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens which has become discoloured and hard, and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is usually done in a day surgery environment and takes approximately half an hour.