Cataracts – not everyone is the same!

In order to maximize your visual outcome, it is important that your eye surgeon personalises your cataract surgery to your lifestyle and visual requirements.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy. This is most commonly due to age, but can also occur in babies and children. Other risk factors that accelerate the development of cataracts include diabetes, use of steroids, eye surgery, trauma to the eye, or recurrent inflammation in the eye called ‘uveitis’.

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in people aged over 40 years, and can significantly impact quality of life. There are different types of cataract, including (i) nuclear cataracts, (ii) cortical cataracts, and (iii) subscapsular cataracts. Some people can get a combination of all three! These can all affect your vision in different ways but the most common symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty focusing or judging depth, haloes and glare, or glasses that need frequent updating.

Assessing the patient with cataracts

If you are referred for a cataract assessment at Terrace Eye Centre (TEC), you will receive a comprehensive eye exam to ensure that your visual problems are solely due to cataract, and that your eye is otherwise healthy. This helps guide your expectations about your vision following surgery.

We will also discuss your visual requirements including your occupation, driving, hobbies and factors that are important to you. Some patients love to do embroidery whilst others love to play golf. For some patients, having crisp driving vision in all light conditions is paramount to their independence and they will accept the need to wear reading glasses as a trade-off.  Other patients would rather have a multifocal intraocular lens that will make them less dependent on reading glasses, but this comes with a trade-off of potential haloes and glare with night time driving.

Every patient is different. There is no perfect artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that will mimic the body’s natural lens when you are in your 20s, but we will take the time to tailor your surgery and lens options to best address your visual requirements and lifestyle.

If there are other diseases causing your visual problems such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, these will also be discussed with you because we believe that it is important for patients to understand their eye conditions.

In our consultation rooms at TEC, we have state-of-the-art technology to measure your eyes and calculate your intraocular lens. Your surgery is then performed at the purpose-built Queensland Eye Hospital on Little Edward Street, where a team of dedicated ophthalmic nurses will care for you.