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11 Oct 2018

What are cataracts and their causes?

What are cataracts and their causes?

If you’re over 45, you may have begun to notice a slow, progressive clouding or discolouration over your eye’s natural lens that signals the development of cataracts. The progress may be slow, but the results can be devastating. Blurred, fuzzy vision and a sensitivity of light can rob people who have cataracts of many of life’s pleasures.

More importantly, if left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness.

What are cataracts and what causes them?

Cataracts are cloudy areas that form in the lens of the eye and a leading cause of vision impairment. They are caused by a change in the proteins of the eye, which “clump” and reduce the sharpness of the image reaching the retina. The change can be caused by:

  • Age – cataracts are more common in older individuals.
  • Birth defects
  • Environmental factors such as disease, toxic chemicals, and medication
  • Lifestyle behaviours such as smoking
  • Accidents or injuries
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light

Cataract surgery at Freedom Eye Laser

Cataract surgery is the only way to deal with stubborn, vision-clouding cataracts. The good news is that you can get a “fix” for your sight in around 15 minutes. Cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthetic and is pain-free both during and after the operation.

Most cataract surgery today is done with a technique known as phacoemulsification, also referred to as “small incision cataract surgery”. As the name suggests, a small incision is made on the side of the cornea so that a tiny probe can be inserted into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so it can be removed by suction. Some of the steps of this procedure can also be performed with a femtosecond laser.

At Freedom Eye Laser, Dr Genge performs even smaller, micro-incision phaco-chop cataract surgery to improve both safety and refractive outcomes. All cases receive a ‘soft shell’ technique to maximally preserve the corneal clarity. His micro-incision technique is safer than both small incision and laser cataract surgery.

How cataract surgery improves vision

An artificial lens is inserted into the eye after the natural lens has been removed. Made of clear plastic and known as an intraocular lens (IOL), it improves your vision in three ways.

  • Let There be Light – Unlike your clouded natural lens, the artificial lens is clear and allows all the light that enters your eye to pass through to the retina.
  • You’ve Got the Power – The implanted lens can be any power. Dr Genge takes meticulous pre-operative measurements so that he can select a lens power that provides “freedom” from having to wear distance glasses. It’s one reason we’re known as Freedom Eye Laser.
  • Lens Replacement in Cataract Surgery Can Fix Presbyopia – Dr Genge is a leader in the use of the most advanced form of intra-ocular lenses that exist, Multifocal Intraocular Lenses. You will achieve distance, intermediate and near (reading) vision without glasses with both eyes working together to maintain optimal depth perception. No other form of vision correction can achieve this. The improvement in vision and freedom from glasses is permanent and will last you for life.

The intraocular lens is stealthy in the best way possible. You will not be aware of its presence once the lens has been placed. It becomes a permanent part of your eye, and, just like your natural lens, it requires no care.

It improves vision in a number of ways. The implanted lens is clear, allowing all of the light entering the eye to pass through to the retina. The implanted lens can be any power required and the pre-operative measurements allow Dr Genge to select the appropriate lens to allow freedom from distance glasses. The multifocal component provides both computer distance and reading for both eyes, working together.

The lenses have a huge advantage over multifocal glasses for correcting vision. With glasses, you can only read whilst looking down, and when looking down when descending stairs or navigating uneven pavements, glasses magnify everything making these activities difficult and increase the risk of a fall. The multifocal Intraocular Lens implants perform in any direction. When you look down everything is clear. You can read looking straight ahead or even on upgaze. This is much closer to natural youthful vision.

Do you have presbyopia?

Do you wish your arms were six inches longer because you constantly need to hold objects like books, magazines and your mobile phone at arms’ length so you can see them? If so, you may have presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a condition of the eyes that makes it difficult to focus on objects that are close by. It’s a natural condition that we all experience as we grow older and the lenses in our eyes lose flexibility. It can’t be avoided or prevented, but it can be successfully treated… just ask Dr Genge.

If you have any questions about cataracts, presbyopia, advanced cataract surgery, or which eye-saving procedure at Freedom Eye Laser can help you see more clearly; contact us today on 02 9981 1771.