The term Cataracts defines the final stage of development of our natural lens, known as the crystalline lens. This part of the eye is constantly evolving, forming concentric layers of tissue as we live and growing approx. 1mm every 10 years.
- What is it?
- Why do they appear?
- Why do they matter?
- What are their symptoms?
- Intraocular Lenses
From the age of 50 and older, depending on each person, his/ her genetics and habits, there comes a time when the lens becomes thick and opaque, and the light won’t reach the inside of the eye, causing vision and therefore also quality of life to decrease significantly.
- Because they are the leading cause of of blindness worldwide.
- Because cataracts develop with normal ageing.
- Because vision is our most important sense and we depend on it for almost everything we do.
- Because today, the treatment of cataract is simple, very effective and a has a success rate of over 99%.
The most common symptoms of cataracts are:
- Cloudy, blurry or filmy vision
- Glare from lights
- Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- Poor night vision
- Double vision
- Difficulty when reading or working with the computer.
- Insecurity when driving a car, first at night, later also during the day.
- Insecurity when walking, with increased risk of falls, broken bones, etc.
Actually, there are no medical treatments to prevent or cure cataracts, other than a surgical intervention.
The intervention consists of the exchange of the blurry natural lens by a new artificial lens, called Intraocular Lens (IOL ).
Intraocular lenses are manufactured in high quality plastic materials, and are designed to fit individually and to last for life.
What are the advantages of cataract surgery?
- It interrupts the natural process of visual impairment due to progressive loss of transparency of the natural lens.
- It restores the transparency of the visual system and greatly improves the visual function and thereby quality of life.
- It also corrects previously present optical defects (e.g. shortsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), so that patients who previously had to wear glasses, can then carry normal life mostly without glasses.
- In some cases of glaucoma, in addition, as the new intraocular lens is much thinner, lens exchange may also provide an improvement of the pressure level and therefore reduce the risk of glaucoma deterioration.
- Even when associated retinal conditions such as macular degeneration are present, cataract surgery can improve vision in most cases.
The cataract intervention…
- Is an ambulant procedure (no admission over night)
- Takes between 15-20 minutes
- Is performed under local anaesthesia and sedation
- Is absolutely painless
- No stiches are necessary
- The stay at hospital or surgery centre takes approx. 2 hours, after which the patient can leave and go home
- The day after surgery a review is carried out in the office. Thereafter, the patient can usually do normal life, as it is not necessary to cover the operated eye. Recovery usually takes just a few days.
- If necessary, the second eye can be operated after the first few days, allowing binocular balance and maximum vision.
- The success rate is about 99%. It is one of the most common interventions in medicine. The risks, although very low, must be assessed individually.
Modern IOLs are extremely reliable and effective in restoring the function of the natural lens of the eye.
We implant only intraocular lenses manufactured by leading laboratories worldwide, with proven results in millions of cases.
Modern IOLs are absolutely long-term reliable, they are designed to last for life. We therefore guarantee the quality of the IOLs implanted by us- for life.
Modern lenses are always fitted with a UV filter as standard.
In some cases of associated macular disease, special IOLs with additional protective filters may be recommendable.
Intraocular lenses (IOLs)
There are many different types of intraocular lenses, in terms of physical and optical design. In order to determine the most appropriate type of lens for each person, not only a thorough eye examination is necessary, but also the careful consideration of his/ her lifestyle, visual requirements and expectations.
Here’s a summary of the most common IOL types, according to the optical performance:
Very clear vision in the distance, improved colour vision and contrast.
Built-in UV-light filter, to protect the inner structures of the eye in the same manner as the natural lens.
Currently they have been adopted as standard lenses by most health insurance companies and their cost is usually fully covered.
Glasses are still needed for reading and computer-working.
We recommend them for:
Restoring good distance vision without glare and halos, especially for those persons who don’t mind wearing glasses for reading and working with a computer.
Further information at:
Multifocal lenses have special optics, which are designed to split light creating multiple sharp foci, allowing sharp vision at different distances simultaneously and, therefore, allowing independency from spectacles.
Bifocal-Multifocal IOLs can correct both cataracts and presbyopia, allowing good vision at near and close-up distances.
- Notable independence from glasses at long distance (ideal for driving) and near (great for reading and operating a mobile phone)
- Generally, multifocal lenses are light dependant. They perform much better under bright light conditions. They also may cause optical side effects in low light conditions, including halos (reflections around light sources and bright objects) and reduced contrast, which sometimes means poor night vision. These side effects typically improve just with time, and in most cases are to be improved with the help of simple spectacles mostly only for occasional use in those special situations.
- The visual performance at intermediate distance (classically: computer-working distance) is limited requiring a very simple pair of glasses for longer work with a computer.
- Multifocal IOLs have a higher price, which is usually not fully covered by health insurance companies, meaning an extra cost for the patient.
We recommend them for:
Those patients who want a remarkable independence from glasses for most daily activities, who do not mind at all using glasses if working with a computer or having to drive at night.
Further information at:
- They are the most advanced among all lenses currently available.
- They allow excellent vision at all distances: long, intermediate (computer) and close-up (reading) and, therefore, a virtually complete independence glasses for all daily activities.
- The incidence of visual side effects, such as halos is much lower.
- They confer the highest degree of satisfaction multifocal lenses can provide today.
- They have a high price, which is usually not cover insurance companies, meaning an extra cost for the patient.
We recommend them to:
Those with an active way of life, who require good vision at all distances without depending on glasses to the greatest extent possible.