Knowledge

Ask the expert - Brian Gleave

October 20 2016

Cataract is when the lens inside your eye (it lies just behind the coloured iris) begins to go misty or gradually opaque. It can be thought of as part of the natural aging process. In fact, almost everybody over the age of 70 will have some cataract. Early cataract sometimes has little effect on vision and the patient may well not be aware of it. However, as it progresses colours will become less vivid, there may be problems with glare and the vision loses crispness. It is no longer necessary to wait for the cataract to mature or? be ready? as the surgeons are happy to operate when the vision has deteriorated such that it is affecting the patient’s lifestyle. This means that if it causing problems driving or reading or there is too much glare it can be treated much earlier than used to be the case. The cataract operation is relatively straight forward and is done under local anaesthetic. This means you are only in hospital for a few hours and the operation itself may only take about 15 minutes. The vast majority of patients are much better off after the operation and you only have about a 1% chance of being worse off. The operation involves removing the cloudy lens and putting an artificial? implant? lens in its place. Often patients only need reading glasses after the treatment. If you have a cataract and are concerned about it ask your optometrist for a cataract assessment. They will examine your eyes using drops and take time to discuss whether surgery is advisable and where you want to have it done which can be in Leigh or elsewhere.

My optician told me I have cataract. I am 74 years old? Should I be worried?

Brian Gleave

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