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What is a cataract?

A cataract causes clouding of the eye lens, making it increasingly challenging to see, read and drive, particularly in the evening. A majority of cataracts degenerate slowly over time leading to vision deterioration, but this can now be surgically corrected as a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.

A cataract first forms when a person’s eye lens begins to fog up to a point whereby light cannot penetrate the lens. The lens is an internal part of the eye that helps focus light so that the brain and eye work collectively to develop a clear picture of what is seen. The formation of a cataract corrupts this process, preventing light from reaching the retina. Each individual’s condition varies and depends on the extent of the cataract progression regarding its size, location and density.

How do we surgically remove cataracts?

Cataracts require surgical removal when they affect a person’s sight and cause difficulty reading or carrying out daily tasks due to glare, light sensitivity and poor eyesight. Cataract surgery is performed by a trained ophthalmologist. First, the surgeon removes the murky lens, which he replaces with a new synthetic ocular implant. There are two ways of removing a white, clouded lens; the first is by means of an ultrasound probe (phacoemulsification cataract surgery) that disintegrates the damaged lens into fragments to prepare for its removal. The second method of removing the lens is through extracapsular cataract surgery, whereby a patient does not qualify for phacoemulsification eye surgery due to the thickness of the cataract. The ophthalmologist removes the cataract as a complete piece during this procedure and replaces it with a new intraocular lens. The new lens is translucent and is customised to the needs of the individual, designed to their unique specifications.


“Vision is the true creative rhythm”

- Robert Delaunay