London Medical Ophthalmology

Cataract surgery

If you are over the age of 65 and you are experiencing a gradual deterioration of your vision, you might have an age-related cataract.

State-of-the-art surgery for cataracts without a waiting list

Cataracts are when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. It’s a very common eye condition that can make it difficult for you to read, drive, watch tv or just live your everyday life. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective operation that restores your sight and can even improve your vision. Our consultant cataract specialists will work with you to choose the best lens for your lifestyle to improve your eyesight and help you live your best life.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a gradual buildup of protein on the lens in your eye. Over time, your clear lens becomes cloudy and more opaque, making it difficult for light to pass through and affecting your vision.

Cataracts are gradually progressive, which means they get worse over time. There are no known treatments to cure or slow the progression of cataracts other than cataract surgery.

The most common type of cataract is age-related, but there are other reasons you might develop cataracts:

  • Congenital cataracts are present from birth.
  • Trauma-induced cataracts can result from previous eye injuries.
  • Drug-induced cataracts are caused by prolonged steroid use.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts

Cataracts can affect one or both eyes, but they typically affect both eyes.

You might not notice symptoms at first. But over time, you will experience a gradual deterioration throughout your whole field of vision, which might include:

  • blurred or clouded vision
  • faded colours
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • lights that seem too bright or glaring
  • seeing halos around lights

Causes and risk factors

Cataracts are a natural part of getting older, but some factors put you at a higher risk for getting them, including:

  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • exposure to UV light
  • prolonged steroid use
  • radiation treatment
  • eye injury
  • eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and uveitis
  • family history of cataracts.

When should you have cataract surgery?

It is your choice when to have cataract surgery to improve your vision. Some people with mild cataracts prefer to wait a few years until their vision has progressed to a point where corrections can no longer help. Others who rely on their vision for work might choose to have the surgery before vision loss impacts their daily life.

Although it’s natural to experience a gradual loss of near vision as we age (this is called presbyopia), some people might choose to treat this vision loss by undergoing a surgical procedure called refractive lens exchange. The surgery is essentially the same procedure as cataract surgery but without the presence of a cataract. In healthy patients with no history of eye disease, refractive lens exchange can provide better vision without the need for corrective glasses.

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Our approach

We believe that cataract surgery should not only restore your lost sight it should improve your vision. That’s why your consultant ophthalmologist will take the time to listen to your needs and work with you to choose the best possible lens for your eyes and your lifestyle. At London Medical, you’ll receive the very best care from leading ophthalmologists at the cutting-edge of their field. We bring together state-of-the-art equipment and diagnostics, a friendly and caring team and prompt treatment plans tailored to your needs — all in our comfortable and accessible ground-floor clinic.

Getting diagnosed

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of a cataract, you should see your optician or one of the optometrists at our daily clinic for an eye exam. They will be able to diagnose a cataract and refer you to one of our consultant ophthalmologists for a surgery consultation.

Your consultant ophthalmologist will do a complete eye exam with dilation to check the back of your eyes and take your full medical history. Using the results of biometric testing of your eyes, your consultant will recommend various options for replacement lenses. They will carefully explain each option and any benefits or risks so that you can choose the right lens for you.

Replacement lens options

At London Medical, we offer a wide selection of lenses, including some choices that are not freely available on the NHS. Based on your lifestyle and needs, your consultant will help you choose the perfect lenses for you.

  • Monofocal lenses have a single point of focus which means they can improve your vision for either nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Toric lenses correct your vision if you have astigmatism.
  • Multifocal lenses are similar to bifocal glasses. They allow you to focus on objects that are both near and far.

What to expect in cataract surgery

Cataract surgeries are done as a day case with a local anaesthetic. The procedure takes 20-40 minutes, and you will not experience any pain. You might have both eyes operated on the same day or wait two weeks in between operations — this allows you to assess the vision of one eye before proceeding with the second surgery. Your consultant will discuss if you are a candidate for doing both eyes at once during your pre-assessment consultation.

During the surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision into your eye. They will remove the damaged lens and replace it with an artificial lens. After the surgery, you will rest and recover for a short while before being discharged to go home.

Post-surgery care

You’ll be given an eye shield to wear at night to protect your eyes for a few days. You’ll also be given detailed instructions on how to use antibiotic drops to prevent infection and steroid eye drops to prevent inflammation. It’s important to take these drops exactly as prescribed to aid your recovery.

Your eyes might feel itchy or gritty after surgery. This is natural and should go away after one to two days. You will see some vision improvement in 24 hours. Your vision will settle within 36-48 hours, and you should fully recover from your cataract surgery in about four to six weeks.

Cataract surgery will restore your sight, and in nine out of ten cases, your vision will be improved.

Why choose London Medical for your cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is widely available, but we believe it should be performed by an expert ophthalmologist with a dedicated specialism in cataract surgery. Although cataract surgery is considered very safe, like all surgeries, it is not without risk. An expert cataract surgeon will ensure that you get the best possible outcomes. When you choose London Medical for your cataract surgery, you’ll enjoy:

  • Wide choice of lens – You’ll have access to the lenses that best suit your eye and your lifestyle.
  • Personalised care – Your consultant will take the time to thoroughly discuss your questions and concerns and carefully outline all the benefits and risks of your surgical options.
  • Refractive lens exchange – We can assess and advise you if you are a candidate for refractive lens exchange.

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London Medical is located in the Harley Street medical area. Together with top experts across a range of multi-disciplinary fields, we offer the finest facilities for your care, all under one roof.

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