Eye health Q&A with Dr Allon Barsam

Restoring your vision with cataract surgery

What is a cataract and how is it treated?

A cataract is when the natural lens in your eye that focuses light becomes cloudy, your vision consequently becomes blurry and less colourful – like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. The only way to effectively treat a cataract is with surgery; an eye surgeon like myself will replace the clouded natural lens with a small acrylic lens called an Intraocular Lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the world, it is very safe and does not take long; you typically go home from the hospital or clinic the same day.

Are there different types of Intraocular Lens (IOLs) available?

Yes, monofocal IOLs can give you clear distance vision (e.g. driving, watching TV) but you need glasses for near (e.g. reading, using a mobile phone) and intermediate (e.g. cooking, using a computer) activities. Monofocal IOLs are available on the NHS.

Multifocal IOLs can give you glasses-free vision for most activities at any distance; however, these IOLs are only available with privately funded surgery.

What can people do to help prepare for cataract surgery?

Using dry eye drops in advance of surgery can help ensure that all the eye measurements taken prior to surgery are accurate and that your eye health is at its best, which supports the success of your eye surgery.

What happens after cataract surgery?

The surgeon will provide you with eye drops to help protect and heal your eye. Up to 75% of cataract patients suffer from dry eye but long-term use of eye drops can help with this. Post-surgery care will usually be provided by your local optometrist.

Can you further improve your eyesight after cataract surgery?

If you need reading glasses after cataract surgery, Sulcoflex Trifocal might be an option for you. Sulcoflex Trifocal is a new IOL that splits the light coming into the eye, and can provide you with near, intermediate and distance vision. This highly advanced IOL is implanted on top of your existing primary IOL to provide glasses-free vision for most activities. You can have Sulcoflex Trifocal implanted any time after your cataract surgery.

To learn more about Sulcoflex Trifocal, visit www.sulcoflex.com

The importance of eye health

What is the tear film?

The tear film protects and nourishes your cornea, it is responsible for two-thirds of your vision by focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye – it is the window to your world. Maintaining a healthy tear film is important for ensuring good eyesight.

What is dry eye disease?

When your tear film does not function properly and not enough tears are produced, your eyes can feel dry, gritty, tired, sore, sensitive to light and/or blurred.

Dry eye disease can occur at any age but is more common in the over 50s. Dry eye disease can also occur from over exposure to air-conditioned or heated environments, excessive computer use, it is also very common after eye surgery. Up to 75% of cataract patients suffer from dry eye disease.

What is the impact of leaving dry eye disease untreated?

Your tear film consists of three layers, if one is faulty then it can reduce how clearly you see by two thirds. Every blink alters the thickness of your tear film, which can affect the success of eye surgery.

How can eye drops help?

Eye drops moisten and smoothen your eye with every blink, and can be used for as long as needed.

Support your eye health with AEON eye drops. Learn more at www.aeoneyedrops.com

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