How Does Cataract Surgery Work?

Cataract Surgery is the only proven solution to cataracts.

Cataracts are a natural part of the eye’s ageing process; however, when they develop, the only way to treat them is through surgery. These cloudy obstructions can take years to develop – but if left untreated, they can lead to severe vision loss and even blindness.

So, how does Cataract Surgery work?

Cataracts affect the natural crystalline lenses in our eyes. As the proteins in these lenses break down, over time they begin to clump together, forming a cloudy obstruction in the eye. These obstructions – called cataracts – worsen over time, eventually leading to significant vision impairment.

Cataract Surgery involves replacing the cataract-affected lens with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens or “IOL”.

To perform Cataract Surgery, a surgeon will:

  • Create a small incision on the surface of the eye;
  • Insert a small probe into the eye to deliver ultrasonic waves (these waves break up the cloudy lens);
  • Draw out the lens tissue from the lens capsule;
  • Insert an artificial lens into the lens capsule.

Replacing the Cataract-Affected Lens

The primary aim of Cataract Surgery is to remove the cataract from the eye. When myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), and astigmatism.

Eye doctors can determine the best type of lens for each patient, based on the size and shape of the eye and refractive error. This will be determined through a thorough eye assessment before the surgery.

Cataract Surgery Recovery

Cataract Surgery is a minor procedure that only requires local anaesthetic (you don’t need to be put to sleep). Therefore, patients can head home on the same day as their surgery.

Immediately after their procedure, patients will be fitted with an eye shield to protect the eye from dust, debris and other environmental dangers. During the early stages of recovery, it is normal to experience some discomfort and grittiness as well as watery eyes. However, these symptoms should subside within a few days.

Most patients recover relatively quickly following Cataract Surgery and can see clearly within just a few days. In some cases, it can take a few weeks to fully recover from the procedure.