What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. As the cataract starts to form it causes the lens to stiffen and this makes focusing on near objects more difficult. This leads to people needing reading glasses, a process called Presbyopia. Later the lens starts to become even cloudier and things become more blurred; at this stage the cloudy lens is called a cataract. Though cataracts usually form very slowly they can suddenly get a lot worse. Cataracts can often be corrected with glasses initially, but when even those can no longer improve your vision sufficiently you may require surgery.
Everyone will develop a cataract which will get cloudy enough to interfere with their vision if they live long enough.

What happens when I have cataract surgery?

Removal of the cataract requires a small surgical procedure to be performed. A tiny hole is made in the eye, through which the old cloudy lens is removed and the new lens is inserted. In adults the operation is usually performed with the patient awake and the eye is thoroughly anaesthetised for the procedure. Sedation can be given for those who may be nervous.

When can I drive?

Following cataract or Refractive lens surgery your recovery will depend on the type of surgery that was  performed and how quickly your eye recovers from the procedure.

For most patients having refractive lens exchange or cataract surgery you should feel able to drive about one week after the procedure.

Am I suitable?

Most people are suitable candidates for Refractive Eye Surgery. However there are some eye conditions or medical conditions that mean it is not a suitable treatment for everyone.

People who are very long-sighted or very short-sighted may not be suitable candidates for laser eye surgery but better suited to refractive lens exchange surgery. There are several other treatment options available for those who are not good Eye Surgery candidates.

If you are interested in your options why not book a consultation with our consultant to discuss the options which are open to you and your eyes.

At Bournemouth Eye Clinic you will be advised what the best options are for you. If you are not a good candidate for Eye surgery we will certainly let you know. If laser eye surgery would be your best option we can recommend nearby ophthalmic surgeons who undertake this proceedure.

What is Accommodation?

Accommodation is the natural lens in the eye changing shape so that what you are looking at is in focus.
We are all born with a flexible lens inside our eye which focuses the incoming light, a bit like the lens in a camera. When we are young this lens can change its shape easily. If you are normal sighted, when the eye is resting it is in focus for objects in the distance. If you wish to focus on a nearby object then small muscles inside the eye squash the lens and make it fatter, which brings the near object into focus.
As we get older the lens stiffens and becomes less able to change its shape. This eventually leads to many people becoming dependent on reading glasses (Presbyopia).
Once presbyopia occurs then people are increasingly dependent on glasses. If you wish to be more independent of glasses then treatments are available which can help. For some patients wearing contact lenses may give them back some reading vision. For people who are not keen on wearing contact lenses other treatments are available, including presbyopic lens exchange and Blended vision.
If you currently wear reading glasses and would like to discuss the options to reduce your dependence on them then please feel free to make an appointment with our surgeon here at the Bournemouth Eye Clinic.


Bournemouth Nuffield Hospital
67 Lansdowne Road

Tel: 01202 291816
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