What is a cataract?

If you feel like you are looking through a frosty or foggy window or having more difficulty driving at night or seeing the expression on people’s faces it may be that you have the symptoms of a cataract forming in your eyes.
A common misconception is that a cataract is a film or growth over the eye, this is not the case. A cataract is the term used to describe clouding of the naturally clear crystalline lens of the eye.

The lens in your eye is positioned behind the iris (the coloured part of your eye). The lens in your eye functions like that of a camera lens to focus incoming light onto the retina in order for you to see clearly.

Throughout your life the natural lens is clear & flexible to enable you to have clear natural vision refocusing between distance and near objects. Any cloudiness of the natural lens in your eye over time is termed a cataract.


About cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most common performed surgical procedure worldwide, that enables people to regain their independence.
Cataracts operation involves making a tiny incision around 2.5 to 3mm through in which an intricate ultrasonic machine (a phacoemulsification instrument) uses sound waves to break the cataract up into small pieces so that it can easily be removed from the eye. This process is called phacoemulsification.

 After the cloudy lens has been removed from the eye it is replaced with a small clear artificial lens, an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL is put into your eye replacing the dysfunctional cloudy cataractous lens which has been removed.

There are a number of different IOL lens designs available. At your consultation with Dr Kent will discuss with you your lifestyle and what IOL is recommended for you, taking into account the unique features of your eyes and your visual requirements.

Most people want to minimise any spectacle wear following removal of their cataract. A premium multifocal intraocular lens that facilitates clear vision over a full range at near, distance and intermediate may be the most suitable option.

Some people are better suited to a single focus, monofocal intraocular lens therefore you would need to wear reading glasses after the cataract is removed.

Dr Kent will carefully go through the options with you to determine the most appropriate option for you.

Dr Kent is an affiliated provider with Southern Cross Healthcare and a nib First Choice Provider




FAQ about Cataract Surgery

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

Symptoms of a cataract can be quite variable. The most common symptom is cloudy, blurry or dimmed vision. With a cataract you may also experience sensitivity to light and glare. As a cataract advances you may notice difficulty with night vision. It is not uncommon to notice that colours are dull in particular a fading or yellowing of bright colours. The formation of a cataract can cause your spectacle prescription to change, with advanced cataracts updating your glasses does not provide clear vision.

What options are there for intraocular lens (IOL) surgery?

There are four main options for IOL surgery today.
  • Monofocal IOLs for emmetropia
  • Monofocal IOL monovision
  • Extended-depth-focus IOLs (e.g. Oculentis Comfort)
  • Zeiss trifocal IOL

Where does Dr Kent perform cataract surgery?

Dr Kent performs cataract and refractive lens exchange procedures at the Christchurch Eye Surgery.  Opened in 2014, their state-of-the art facility has been purpose-built to give you the very best eye surgery experience possible.  They have an exceptionally-skilled professional team of experts including anaesthetists, nurses and technicians to put you first and ensure that you receive the best possible treatment and quality care.

When were intraocular lenses (IOL) invented?

The Intraocular Lens (IOL) was invented in 1949 by Sir Harold Ridley who pioneered IOL surgery for cataract patients. Ridley pioneered this treatment in the face of prolonged strong opposition from the medical community. His process has been refined over time and is routinely used in modern cataract surgery.
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