Cataract Surgery

What is a Cataract?

Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens as we grow older. When the lens becomes cloudy, light cannot pass through unobstructed, and so the vision becomes blur.

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What causes cataract?

Most cataracts are related to ageing and are commonly found in older people.

Cataract can be accelerated by the following factors:

  • Excessive exposure to UV light, an example is having to be outdoors often;
  • Radiation;
  • Some diseases, such as diabetes;
  • Smoking

Cataract symptoms

  • Cloudy, blurry, or dimming of vision even after changing spectacles.
  • Experiencing glare. For example, vision becomes blurry in bright sunlight.
  • Poor vision in dim light.
  • Frequent change of spectacle degree.

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Cataract Diagnosis

How can I confirm if I have Cataract?

When you noticed your vision being affected, do seek medical attention from an eye care professional.
An Ophthalmologist will then perform a slit lamp microscope examination to determine if you have Cataract and what the severity or type it is.

When to remove Cataract?

When a cataract causes bothersome vision problems that interfere with your daily activities, your Ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to remove the cataract.

There is no need to wait until the cataract is ‘ripe’, as this is based on an old concept due to less advanced cataract surgery techniques and higher complication rates back then.

Cataract Treatment

How to remove Cataract?

Cataracts can be removed surgically. The eye’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant (called an Intra-Ocular Lens or IOL).

Cataract Surgery (Medisave-claimable) is usually done as a day-surgery procedure under local anaesthesia.  It can even be done using anaesthetic eye drops only.

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Nowadays, the cataract surgery is done through very small wounds using a technique called Phacoemulsification where the solid lens is blended into microscopic pieces using ultrasound energy and removed through the same wound. With a smaller wound incision made, the rehabilitation time is reduced. Computers can also be used to aid the surgeon in the implantation of the lens which correct astigmatism to improve the accuracy of outcomes.

Lasers can now also be used to perform some parts of the surgery but are not necessary in all cases. Only certain types of cases, for example, patients with certain cornea problems or very hard cataracts may benefit from the laser-assisted cataract surgery.

Various types of Intra-Ocular Lens Implants are available which can potentially correct for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. However, not everyone is suitable for the lenses that correct astigmatism and presbyopia. It is essential to discuss your visual needs and expectations with your eye surgeon in the selection of the most suitable lens for you.

Cataract Prevention

Having cataracts are unavoidable and are part of the ageing process, like having white hair. However, you can try to delay the onset of Cataracts with the following:

  • Good UV protection by wearing sunglasses whenever you go outdoors
  • Have a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Having the right balance of Omega-3 and -6 oils / Fish oils in your diet