Cataract treatment

Cataract treatment

What is a Cataract?

“Contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not caused by reading in bad light or from straining your eyes”

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the front of the eye, which can cause blurred vision and prevent you from seeing near and distant objects clearly. Sometimes cataracts make people more sensitive to glare, while for others, reading might become difficult.

A cataract is not a growth or film over the eye, and it won’t cause pain or discomfort. Cataracts are not usually associated with headaches.

Possible causes include:

  • Age
  • Injury
  • Eye Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Smoking

Age is the most common cause, but cataracts can also occur in babies and children. They may develop as a result of injury or eye disease and can also be associated with medical conditions such as diabetes. Both smoking and sunlight increase the risk of cataracts.

A decision to have treatment

As you consider treatment, make sure that you understand the risks, benefits and limitations associated with the treatment. If you have any questions, ask your ophthalmologist.

Want more information?

Some information within this website has been supplied by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthamologists (RANZCO). If you would like more information visit

CALL US ON 06 844 4617


Should a cataract be removed?

A cataract does not have to be removed just because it is there. Rarely, removal may be necessary to prevent other complications in your eye. Usually the deciding factor is how much vision you have lost, and how much this interferes with your enjoyment of life.
Sometimes, a change of glasses will be enough to help you see clearly. If not, surgery will improve the situation significantly. You don’t have to wait until your vision is very poor before having surgery, and age is no barrier to having the operation or benefiting from it.

What do they look like?

When the lense is cloudy, light passing through the cataract is decreased and scattered. Images are weak and not focused on the retina, and vision is affected.

What does surgery involve?

Most cataract surgery is performed on a day-only basis under local anaesthesia. There are many variations in technique, the most common being small incision phacoemulsification surgery with implantation of an intra-ocular lens chosen specifically to match your eye.
Your eye may be covered or protected for one night, until the review by your surgeon the next day. You will be able to function normally from Day 1 but strenuous activities must be avoided for some weeks.

What happens next?

Generally, when a cataract is removed, it’s replaced with a plastic intra-ocular lens. Normally, this will restore the distance vision that you had before the cataract developed, although you may still
need glasses for some activities.
After the operation, your Ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops and arrange for you to return for post-operative care over the following weeks. After this time, glasses will be prescribed for your new eye, particularly to help with reading.

Outstanding support

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