Can Cataract Surgery Give You 20/20 Vision?

The formation of cataracts in the eyes can represent a significant burden and be associated with a considerable impact on your vision. If left untreated, these cloudy obstructions can even lead to blindness. Thankfully, there is a simple and effective solution: cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is a routine procedure that involves removing the cataracts from the eye to restore your vision. This removes the obstruction and replaces the natural lens with an artificial one. In some cases, cataract surgery can even help to improve your pre-cataract vision! So, you may wonder: Can cataract surgery give you 20/20 vision?

How Does Cataract Surgery Work?

As we get older, a number of changes can begin to significantly affect the way we live. Aside from aching joints and greying hair, ageing can also have a detrimental effect on our eyesight. Aside from presbyopia (ageing eyes), the eye’s natural ageing process can also lead to the formation of cataracts. However, cataracts can also develop for a number of other reasons including as the result of eye injury and even genetics.

These cloudy obstructions form when the proteins in the lens break down and clump together. Cataract surgery is the only effective solution for removing these obstructions and restoring your vision. So, how does it work?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the UK. To remove the cataract, a surgeon creates a small incision on the surface of the eye. An ultrasonic probe is then inserted into the eye to break up the cataract-affected lens. The natural lens, along with the cataract, is then removed and an artificial intraocular (IOL) is inserted.

How can the procedure improve your vision?

The primary aim of cataract surgery is to remove the obstruction from the eye. With NHS treatment, this involves replacing the cataract-affected lens with a standard monofocal IOL, a type of IOL designed to focus at one distance (usually long distance).

Of course, this can offer significant improvement when compared with your pre-surgery vision. However, the single point of focus offered by monofocal lenses means that most patients will still be reliant on glasses or contact lenses. In contrast, in private cataract surgery, a wider range of IOLs are available to further improve your vision.

Premium IOLs such as multifocal and toric lenses can correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism to provide good vision at near and intermediate distances as well as long distances. But does this mean you could achieve 20/20 vision after cataract surgery?

What is 20/20 Vision?

Most people have heard the term “20/20 vision”. For many, this is simply a way to refer to what we consider “good” vision. But what does it actually mean?

Well, in simple terms, 20/20 vision means that you are able to see clearly at 20 feet what a person with “normal” vision can see at 20 feet. Essentially, this means that you have what is considered “normal visual acuity” (distance vision) as determined by an eye chart (the Snellen test). 20/20 vision can also be referred to as 6/6 vision. The only difference between these two phrases is the measurement used (20/20 uses feet while 6/6 uses metres).

Can Cataract Surgery Give You 20/20 Vision?

Prior to your cataract surgery, your doctor will take a number of measurements to determine the most appropriate IOLs for the shape and size of your eye. Any existing refractive error (such as long-sightedness, short-sightedness, or myopia) will also be measured. This helps to ensure that the premium IOL used in your surgery has the correct power to correct the error.

Most patients, regardless of which IOLs are used, are able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity (distance vision). This is because monofocal lenses However, NHS patients who receive monofocal lenses used in NHS cataract surgery are most often selected to correct distance vision. However, as mentioned above, this type of lens does not correct existing refractive errors.

Accurate measurement of your refractive error and selection of appropriate premium IOLs can help many people achieve clear vision at all distances, in addition to 20/20 vision after cataract surgery.

If you’d like to learn more about private Cataract Surgery at London Vision Clinic, get in touch or Book a Consultation today.