Neither eye drops nor oral medications can cure cataract. Cataract surgery is the only effective treatment that improves the vision of the patients with cataract. It involves removal of the cloudy natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a clear artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL).
Most cataract surgery is performed as a day case, which means that you will not need to stay overnight in the hospital. With the advances in cataract surgery, cloudy and blur vision due to cataract can now be treated at an earlier stage. Patients no longer need to wait until the cataract ‘ripens’ before they can go through surgery.
Patients may undergo cataract surgery under local or general anaesthesia, depending on their general health. As cataract surgery is generally painless, general anaesthesia is sometimes preferred by some eye doctors to overcome the fear and discomfort that patients may experience during the procedure.
Choices of IOL:
There are currently 3 major classes of IOL that are available in the market:
Monofocal IOLMultifocal IOLToric IOL
This is the IOL with the simplest design yet provides excellent vision after cataract surgery. However, as it is ‘monofocal’ in nature, patients with this IOL only obtain sharp vision at one set distance. They may choose to have good vision at either distance (i.e. driving) or near (i.e. reading) without any correction and wear glasses for activities at other distances.
This type of intraocular lens (IOL) is one of the latest advancements in lens technology. They are made up of a variety of regions with different power that allows patients to see at a variety of distances, including distance, intermediate, and near. For the vast majority of patients, multifocal lenses provide them with a full range of vision, thus minimizing your dependence on glasses. While promising, multifocal lenses are not for everyone. In order to gain the maximum benefit of these IOLs, patients who wish to have the implants should not have any eye conditions apart from cataract. Dr Cheryl Lee will perform a comprehensive eye examination for all patients who wish to have these lenses to rule out other eye conditions apart from cataract.
The other significant development in IOL design is the toric IOL. Toric IOL is designed to correct pre-existing corneal astigmatism, a type of optical imperfections in the eye in which the shape of transparent cornea of the eye is oval rather than symmetrically round. This condition, if left uncorrected, results in blur and distorted images at all distances. Both monofocal and multifocal IOLs can now be customized to correct astigmatism.
Learn about the risks of cataract surgery here.