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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How are cataracts treated?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 33

    Thanks

    Dom Willson

    Optometrist

    Dom Willson is the founder and co-owner of Marketown Optical & Willson Optometrists, established in 1999. Dom has 20 years experience as an optometrist, including 17 … View Profile

    Cataracts are treated by cataract surgery, which in Australia is a relatively quick & easy 20 minute operation with a very high success rate. Generally you can go home the same day as the operation and the next day you take the bandage off and often get to enjoy clear vision straight away. After using prescribed eye drops for a settling period of around four weeks, you can then have your vision retested for your new glasses. Very often, people who needed to wear thick glasses prior to surgery can get away with much thinner glasses afterwards; and many (but not all) people only need glasses for reading after cataract surgery.

  • 21

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    Have been in private practice for 35 years and specialise in assessing eye diseases and giving professional advice regarding these conditions. With the installation of … View Profile

    Now a days the cataracts are removed by surgery called phacoemulsification or “phako”as it is called in the industy.The procedure uses an ultrasound device to break up the the cloudy lens (or cataract) .Then a intraocular lens ,IOL,is inserted into the eye capsule.The entire procedure takes 20-25 minutes,aftercare involves drops to prevent infection .After 4 weeks glasses are prescribed for reading ,as generally the surgery corrects the previous poor distance vision ,

  • 23

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    Dr Colin Clement

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    Surgery remains the only treatment for cataracts. It is performed in a day surgery or hospital setting and typically takes 10 - 20 mins. The eye is made numb with either topical or local anaesthesia (very occasionally general anaestheia is needed). Once the anaesthesia takes effect, the surgeon proceeds to remove the cataract via 2 small self sealing incisions. Ultrasound is used to fragment the cataract into small pieces which are then aspirated from the eye using vacuum. In place of the cataract, a new lens made of acrylic or silicone is inserted. This lens is taylored to focus the light clearly at the back of the eye and hence give clear vision. There are many different lens designs - most have a fixed focal distance but some are designed to be multifocal (both near and far). Deciding which lens to use is complex and takes into account surgeon and patient preferences along with visual requirements and patient suitability.

  • 16

    Thanks

    Dr Jay Yohendran

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    Dr Jay Yohendran graduated with Honours from the University of Sydney Medical School in 2001, and was awarded the Clay Prize in Ophthalmology. Prior to … View Profile

    The following information is taken from my website, www.glaucomadoctor.com.au:

    Removal of a cataract is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in Australia. It has a high rate of success due to the modern methods used.If the rest of the eye is healthy, the likelihood is that cataract surgery will restore good vision. If there is macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetes, final vision may be limited by these conditions. PhacoemulsificationThe most common surgical technique is Phacoemulsification. This involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Viewing the eye through a high-powered microscope placed above the patient, Dr Yohendran will make a tiny incision at the junction where the cornea meets the sclera. A small probe is inserted to divide the cloudy lens into small pieces. The pieces are gently suctioned away. The artificial lens is inserted and held in place by the lens capsule. The artificial lens is also called an “intraocular lens implant”. It is a transparent, artificial disc with a shape similar to the natural lens. The incision is normally so small that it requires no stitches. After surgery, the eye is covered with a pad and shield for protection. The operation usually takes approximately 20 minutes. Laser Cataract SurgeryFor the last year os so, some parts of the cataract surgery have been performed with a laser (femtosecond laser). This laser is used to automate some parts of the surgery that are performed manually. Dr Yohendran can program the laser to create the corneal wound, the opening to the lens capsule, and soften the cataract. The potential advantages are due to the surgery being more predictable, and that less phacoemulsification is required to subsequently remove the lens. Whether these advantages translate into better visual outcomes is being extensively studied, with early experience being promising.

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