A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens in the eye. Cataract is very common; the main cause being advancing age. What is a cataract? A cataract is the clouding/opacity of the natural lens in the eye
Who gets cataracts? Cataracts develop with age. Almost everybody will eventually develop cataracts
When should cataracts be treated? Cataracts need surgery when the vision is affected to the point that it is affecting your life-style. The most common time to do surgery is when it is affecting your ability to drive.
Is cataract surgery safe? Cataract surgery is very safe and accurate. There are some risks with cataract surgery and these will be discussed with your Ophthalmologist at the time of cataract assessment.
Is cataract surgery painful? No, surgery is done using local anaesthetic and is generally well tolerated.
Which lens do you use? Each patient has individual needs. You and your surgeon will determine which type of intra-ocular lens would best suite you.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed day surgery procedure in Australia. Cataract surgery is very safe, accurate surgery and most patients are delighted with their vision following surgery. Cataract surgery is usually done as a day-procedure. Most surgeries are done under local anaesthetic and recovery is generally very quick.
Cataract surgery involves surgical removal of the cataract with an ultrasound probe and then insertion of an acrylic intra-ocular lens. There are multiple lens options available including the multifocal lenses. You will need to discuss what will best suite you when you consult your Ophthalmologist.
We pride ourselves in aiming to deliver the best possible visual outcomes for our patients when providing cataract surgery.
Intravitreal Eye Injections
Intravitreal eye injections are commonly used for treating disease such as macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular disease.
Eye injections are done in the clinic. The procedure is quick. A local anaesthetic injection, drops or gel are used to relieve discomfort and the injections are well tolerated in most cases.
The risk of developing an intra-ocular infection after the injection is small and we take every precaution possible to prevent any infections.
YAG LASER CAPSULOTOMY:
It is quite common to develop a membrane behind the intra-ocular lens after undergoing cataract surgery. This is not a “second cataract” but can cause gradual clouding of vision after having cataract surgery. We use a YAG laser to remove this layer. The procedure is done in the rooms, its quick and painless and visual recovery is almost instantaneous.
Patients can develop some floaters after the laser, however, these usually resolve over a few weeks.
YAG LASER IRIDOTOMY:
A laser iridotomy is sometimes needed to treat or prevent the development of angle closure glaucoma. This is a relatively quick procedure which is done in the rooms. Your doctor may elect to treat one or both eyes on the same day. The laser is quick and relatively painless. The vision may be quite blurred after the laser and you might be given eyedrops to settle the inflammation down following the laser.
ARGON LASER RETINOPEXY:
Retinal tears can develop when the vitreous body detaches from the retina. A small retinal tear can lead to a retinal detachment if not treated urgently. Argon laser retinopexy is done in the rooms. The treatment is quick. There can sometimes be some discomfort with the treatment. You may need more than one attempt to completely treat the retinal tear.
Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP) is used to treat retina which has become ischaemic (lack of oxygen). The laser burns the diseased retina and prevents the development of new blood vessels in the back and front of the eye. Failure to treat with PRP when indicated can lead to permanent irreversible vision loss. The laser is done in the clinic. The treatment can be quite painful and as such is usually completed over several sessions.
An A-scan is used to determine the power of the intra-ocular lens required for cataract surgery. The procedure is quick and is usually done on the day of your cataract assessment. We use a Harg-Streit Lenstar biometer with the Barret formula in our rooms which gives excellent and accurate results.
B-scan is a specific ocular ultrasound machine. We use this to visualise and measure lesions in the back of the eye. It is a very useful tool when there is no view into the back of the eye such as cases of dense cataract or vitreous haemorrhage.
OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) is a fantastic tool which helps us visualise the micro-anatomy of the back of the eye. It is an essential tool in the management of macular disease and glaucoma.
Fluorescein angiograms are used to visualise the retinal blood-flow. This is a very useful diagnostic tool in all retinal vascular diseases including macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion and central serous retinopathy.
A small cannula is placed in the vein and dye is injected into your circulation. Retinal photographs are then taken with the dye circulating through the retina.
The procedure is done in our rooms. We have the very latest Heidelberg and Optos fundus cameras for this purpose. There is a small risk of allergy to the dye which your Ophthalmologist will discuss with you before having this test.
VISUAL FIELD TEST:
Visual field testing is essential in the management of glaucoma and other diseases of the retina, optic nerve and brain. We use the Humphrey Visual Field analyser with the Sita-Faster program which is the quickest and most accurate commercially available visual field test. The test in done in the clinic and can take up to 5 minutes per eye.