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More than half of those over 65 suffer from changes to the lens of their<br/><br/>eye that impairs their sight, but for some there is a very simple solution

As we grow older, we all have to live with the effects that time and toil take on our bodies. However, there are some ailments that can be resolved in a relatively simple manner, restoring us to health. Take cataracts for example. A cataract occurs when the natural lens within the eye becomes cloudy or opaque and is the most common cause of impaired vision in the world. Symptoms might include blurry vision (as if your spectacle lenses need cleaning), needing more light to read small print, a dazzle or glare around bright lights or seeing colours with a yellow tinge through one or both eyes.

More than half of the population over the age of 65 years have some changes to the lens of their eye and this may be a normal part of the ageing process. However, having a cataract can seriously affect the quality of your life and interfere with activities such as reading, watching television or driving. The good news is that with treatment, the impact of cataracts can be curtailed.

How do you confirm that cataract surgery is required?First visit your optician, who for private patients may refer you to Oaks or Springfield Hospital (this referral may come from your GP too). Further examination by an eye surgeon will confirm your precise needs. If cataract is diagnosed, surgery can be conducted at any stage – as a private patient there is no need to wait until the cataract is ‘ripe’ or when your quality of life may be significantly affected. At the hospital clinic, pre-operative assessment includes discussion about your visual requirements, and tests and measurements will be carried out to establish the power of the lens implant needed during the surgery. The surgical team takes great care to ensure every patient gets the best possible vision following their surgery.

What happens on the day of cataract surgery? Cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure, which usually takes around 15 minutes to complete. The operation is normally carried out using local anaesthetic, which means you can return home on the same day. Cataract surgery is one of the most popular operations at Oaks or Springfield Hospital, and your operation will be conducted by a consultant eye specialist. Around 95% of patients will notice an improvement in their sight almost immediately after cataract surgery. Eye drops will help keep the eye clean and help it to heal, but you can return to your usual daily routine within 24 hours. Prescription glasses will usually change and a visit to the optician is necessary after the course of prescribed eye drops has been completed.

Why try cataract surgery?Cataract surgery is a life-changing experience for many patients. It can help an individual to maintain their independence, and can help prevent other health issues such as slips, trips and falls. Improvements include:

•Clarity of vision See things in focus   (although you may still need to wear glasses).

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•Colour definition Many patients are pleasantly surprised at the difference between colours that the cataract had been obscuring.

•Lack of glare Bright lights will not be as likely to dazzle.

•Quality of life Improvements will enhance your enjoyment of your usual activities, such as hobbies and crafts, reading, working, watching television, sport and driving.

Oaks and Springfield Hospitals provide cataract surgery to NHS patients as well as those who are medically insured or self funding. Affordable Fixed Cost Care package prices are available for self-paying patients, so why wait?

Get in touchFor more information call Self Pay or Premium Care Enquiries at Oaks Hospital on 01206 753245 or at Springfield Hospital on 01245 234110

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