A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light passing through to the retina. They are also one of the most common eye conditions treated at the Sydney Eye Clinic. Although there is currently no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts, they can be safely and successfully removed.
The cataract assessment is a thorough eye examination. The painless assessment involves:
- Testing your long and short sightedness with and without glasses
- Measuring to what degree your vision is affected by glare
- Examining the front and back of your eye and
- Taking a photo of your cataract
After the assessment is complete, we will discuss with you your treatment options. If your cataracts need to be removed surgically, you will need to have an ultrasound measurement called an A-Scan or IOL Master. This is used to measure the exact power and shape of your eye. From these measurements, we use computer-assisted calculations to determine the exact power of the replacement intraocular lens (IOL) needed to correct your vision. Astigmatism can be adjusted, using a Toric IOL.
Cataract surgery is performed in our Day Surgery. Eye drops are used to ensure you feel no pain during the surgery but still enable you to move your eye and eyelids. As a result, no post-operative patch is required and you should be able to see the results immediately after surgery.
Once the eye is numb, a tiny incision is made into the perimeter of the cornea, on the side of the eye that is closest to the temple. This tiny incision (which is self-sealing) creates a small tunnel through which Dr Ilan Sebban is able to remove the cataract and insert the intraocular lens.
The most modern method of removing a cataract is through the use of phacoemulsification. The phacoemulsifier is an ultrasonic probe, which vibrates 40,000 times per second. It breaks up a cataract into tiny microscopic pieces, which are emulsified and gently removed. This method of cataract removal is considered the least traumatic to the eye.
Once the cataract has been removed, a specially designed injector, much like a syringe, is used to implant the foldable intraocular lens in the pupil. There, the lens is slowly ejected where it expands and unfolds into position. Situated in the same capsule, which once housed the natural lens of the eye, the unfolded intraocular lens restores focus after cataract surgery.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.