Posterior Capsule Opacifiation
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What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop in the lens of an eye. The lens should normally be clear. But, with cataracts, the affected lens becomes like frosted glass. Cataracts are not a skin that forms over the eye or lens. A cataract is a gradual change in the structure of the lens in an eye, which makes it gradually more and more cloudy.
What is Posterior Capsule Opacification?
After a cataract operation, the back part of the lens capsule sometimes thickens several months after surgery, becomes cloudy (opacifies) and affects your vision. This phenomenon is sometimes called a 'secondary cataract' or posterior capsule opacification. If this occurs it can usually be easily treated with a painless procedure called a YAG capsulotomy. For this, Mr Lam will use a laser to create a window in the middle part of the capsule which then allows light through and restores vision.
During cataract surgery, your cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant. Cataract surgery is performed on a day-case basis, either with a locally injected anaesthetic or with anaesthetic eye drops.
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During cataract surgery, Mr Lam can use a toric lens implant to reduce your astigmatism. Reducing astigmatism will reduce your reliance on glasses and allow you better distance vision without the need for glasses. With a toric lens implant you will still need to use glasses for reading.
What is Astigmatism?
Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. Sometimes, the cornea at the front of the eye is not perfectly rounded but it may have a bigger curve in one direction than another, like a rugby ball. This difference in curvature is called astigmatism. Light rays coming through the cornea and lens are not focused on to one sharp spot on the retina. This lack of 'point focus' means that images received by the brain are blurred. Astigmatism is very common (about 9 in 10 people have some degree of astigmatism). In some cases, special treatments or a toric intraocular lens can be used to reduce astigmatism.