Cataract is a condition in which the natural clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy and reduces the amount of light entering the eye, causing blurred vision. It is the most common cause of blindness in the world, with an increasing probability of us getting it as we grow older.
Cataract surgery is usually recommended if the cataract is impairing your vision and affecting daily activities. However, you do not have to wait for it to ‘mature’ before you can remove it. In fact, the more dense (‘mature’) a cataract, the more complex the surgery, and as a consequence, the higher the risk.
Rest assured, cataract surgery has advanced significantly and can now be performed safely and effectively. It is performed as a day surgery and usually takes less than 30 minutes per eye to complete.
The recovery is relatively fast and you can resume most of your regular activities within a few weeks of the surgery. The preferred method of cataract removal is by phacoemulsification, which involves the use of a tiny probe inserted into the eye through a small incision. The probe uses ultrasonic vibrations to break the cataract up into smaller fragments which are then easily removed by suction. An artificial Intraocular Lens (IOL) is then implanted to restore vision.
Bladeless (Laser-assisted) Cataract Surgery
Advancements in technology have allowed for cataract surgery to be now completely bladeless; using a laser machine to help perform the various incisions in the initial part of surgery, which aims to improve the precision and predictability of the surgery.
Verion Image Guided System – Computer-Assisted Cataract Surgery
The accuracy of surgery may be further enhanced with computerised image-guided systems, leading to better visual outcomes. These precision imaging systems can capture high-resolution digital images of the eye so that the eye surgeon can view this information as real-time computer-generated overlays during surgery.
The eye surgeon can accurately make incisions and position the lens, allowing for the surgery to be customisable for each individual. This is particularly useful for those who opt for multifocal IOLs and for those with astigmatism.
Intraocular Lens Choices
There are 2 types of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) you can choose for your cataract surgery:
Monofocal IOLs enable you to see either near or far – most people prefer the ability to see far and use reading glasses for near vision.
Multifocal IOLs can be Bifocal or Trifocal. Bifocal has 2 zones of good vision; near and far, while Trifocal is what we would recommend; adding a 3rd intermediate zone to enable you to see near, intermediate and far.
Monovision with Monofocal IOLs
If multifocal IOLs are not suitable for you due to certain eye conditions and you do not want to use reading glasses after cataract surgery, you can consider monovision with monofocal IOLs.
Monovision involves one eye, most commonly the dominant eye, being corrected for distance vision while the other eye is corrected for near vision. This method is considered satisfactory for most people as they will not need reading glasses for most near work.
Whether monofocal or multifocal, we offer you customised IOLs to suit your individual needs and aim to give you optimal visual outcomes. These include aspheric monofocal IOLs to improve the sharpness and quality of vision and toric IOLs which can correct astigmatism.
Cataract Surgery After LASIK
Cataract surgery is different from laser-assisted surgery such as LASIK, PRK, ReLEx SMILE, or Epi-LASIK in that it treats the lens of the eye while laser-assisted surgery treats the cornea. Do note that if you have had laser-assisted surgery done before, it is important to have your medical records prior to undergoing cataract surgery at hand so that the cataract surgeon is able to identify the correct power for your IOL when the time comes for cataract surgery.
In spite of what you may have heard, it is possible to have cataract surgery with a Trifocal IOL even if you have had laser-assisted surgery previously. Here at Lang Eye Centre, we have the expertise and experience to implant a Trifocal IOL for those who have had laser-assisted surgeries, aiming for good near, intermediate and far vision post-cataract surgery.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents may utilise up to $2,450 per eye from your Medisave account.
If applicable, cataract surgery may be claimable from your personal or corporate insurance.
Cataract Screening to Determine the Best possible Treatment
Cataracts progress very gradually. Some with cataracts are unaware of their condition as the change in vision may not be obvious to them. If you are 45 years old and above, schedule a cataract screening to pick up cataracts timely and determine the best possible treatment option for yourself.