The cloudy inconvenience – cataract, which many people should be familiar with. Either you have cataract yourself or a friend or family (usually those older in age) has it. Inevitably, as we age, we start to hear people around us going for cataract eye check and eventually cataract surgery.
You may be wondering though, exactly when would be the right time to consider cataract surgery? The answer differs for every different individual. Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is cataract causing you blurry vision?
- Has cataract impacted your daily lifestyle such as affecting your ability to drive or read?
If you answer ‘Yes’ to the above, you should consider visiting your ophthalmologist to discuss your eye conditions and if cataract surgery is recommended.
If you answer ‘No’ to the above, do keep an eye to ensure the cataract does not drastically affect your vision. It will also be advisable to follow-up regularly with your ophthalmologist to monitor for any progression. At the same time, you should also keep your glasses prescription up-to-date to help you see well though you must understand that the vision may not be as sharp as before. A handy pair of sunglasses with UV protection can also help to reduce glare and slow down the progression of cataract.
The root cause of cataract formation is due to ageing of the eye’s natural lens where cloudiness and yellowing occur. With medical advancements, cataract surgery, also known as phacoemulsification, remains one of the most performed eye surgeries, which is effective and safe with high success rates.
Cataract surgery is a proven and effective treatment for those with cataracts with the following benefits:
1) Minimal discomfort
With the use of anaesthesia, which are administered both locally and topically during surgery, there is minimal discomfort and pain during the surgery. The surgery may seem a little daunting, but in less than 30 minutes per eye, the vision can be restored and for most, will last a lifetime.
In the hands of an experienced and skilled cataract surgeon, you may be spectacle-free for most activities post-surgery for the rest of your life, depending on the type of intraocular lens (IOLs) the surgeon is able to offer you based on your eye condition. There is now a wide range of IOLs one can choose for cataract surgery and they include:
- Monofocal IOLs which aim to give you either good near or good far vision post-surgery
- Bifocal IOLs which aim to give you good near and far vision post-surgery
- Trifocal IOLs which aim to give you good near, intermediate and far vision post-surgery
- Toric IOLs for those with astigmatism
3) Enhanced quality of life
No more cloudy vision – it is not advisable to wait out too long to consider cataract surgery as a dense cataract increases the likelihood of complications resulting in a complex surgery. Post-surgery, with regular follow-ups and advice from your ophthalmologist, most people will be able to resume daily activities with good vision.
4) Fast recovery
Recovery is generally quick with most people regaining about 75% of the vision the next day after surgery. It is crucial for you to follow the medication instructions strictly to help in recovery which include antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and lubricating eye drops.