A cataract is diagnosed when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Initially this change may require you to change your spectacles to retain good vision, however as the cataract worsens the only solution is surgical removal of the lens and its replacement.
Cataracts mostly occur in older people, however they can occur at any age. They are very common, affecting many people in older age, and so you may well have family members or friends who have had cataract surgery.
Modern cataract surgery is very successful and can enable many patients to dispense with their reading or distance glasses. The operation is performed in a day surgery, and whilst the eye is put to sleep with anaesthaetic, generally the patient is awake throughout the procedure.
After removal of the cataract or cloudy lens, a new plastic or acrylic lens is put in its place. A number of measurements of your eye will be taken before the surgery so that an appropriate lens is chosen to give either excellent distance or near vision, or a combination of both.
Your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate lens to use in your surgery after considering many factors including the overall health of the eye, your visual or occupational needs and personal visual preferences.