A ‘Cataract’ is the clouding of the normally transparent lens of the eye. It results in the vision becoming increasingly poor. It may reduce the amount of light that reaches the retina, cause light scattering or haziness in patient’s vision.
Surgery is performed to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The advances in modern cataract surgery (microsurgical techniques) have made the surgery safer with better visual and refractive results for patients. Surgery is performed through a small incision and stitches are usually not required. The choice of IOL implanted allows for both long and short sighted eyes to be normalized for distance if desired.
Implanted IOLs which specifically correct astigmatism as well as long and short sight are called ” toric IOLs”. Recently introduced, they allow a much wider range of corrections to be achieved just as safely and predictably as standard non-toric IOLs. They are only suggested for those with higher degrees of astigmatism.
Multifocal lenses are one of the IOL options for our cataract patients. These lenses are able to correct both near and distance vision and therefore reduce the patient’s dependency on glasses. The compromise is that a faint blur of the second image exists over the main image seen. Only some individuals can manage these IOLs. Co-existing macula disease or the need for very sharp vision either at distance or near would usually preclude the use of a multifocal IOL.