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Suite 5A, Level 1, 1-17 Elsie Street

Burwood NSW 2134


(02) 8090 8010


The clouding of the natural lens of the eye is called a cataract. Imagine that the eye to be a special room.  It has an outside window, the cornea, behind which lies the curtain, the iris.  Behind this curtain is the inside window, the lens.  Both windows of the eye have to be transparent to allow clear transmission of light.  When the inside window, the natural lens becomes cloudy it blurs vision and is called a cataract.  Cataracts are not a growth or a film growing on the surface of the eye.

How does a cataract affect my eye?

Cataracts blur vision for reading and distance. They can also cause glare by scattering light.  This can often be a problem while driving at night.  Cataracts do not cause pain or discomfort except in very advanced cases where they can cause pain by inducing glaucoma.  This is extremely rare in Australia.

Who gets a cataract?

It is a condition that is seen mostly in older people.  Diabetes, steroid use and trauma can prematurely lead to cataracts.  Reading in poor lighting and not wearing your glasses does not cause cataracts.  Smoking and sunlight have been associated with greater risk of glaucoma

How do you prevent cataracts?

There are no clear guidelines.  However sunglasses with UV protection are beneficial in the harsh Australian sun.  If you are diabetic, then good sugar control should help reduce a number of the eye complications including cataracts.

When do you treat cataracts?

A cataract does not always warrant surgery.  The commonest reason for performing cataract surgery is when the reduced vision is impacting on an individuals life.  The other reasons for performing cataract surgery include correcting angle closure glaucoma and for eliminating the need for glasses.

How do you treat cataracts?

Glasses cannot cure cataracts.  Buying new glasses is akin to placing a clear window in front of a cloudy window (the cataract) and therefore does not help.  An operation is required to correct a cataract.  The vast majority of cataracts are performed as a day stay procedure, unless the patient has other serious health issues which warrant observation for 24 hours.  During the operation, the eye is put to sleep and small incisions are made to remove the cataracts.  The cataract is then removed and a new artificial lens is inserted into the eye.  Every patient's eye is measured before surgery and lenses are ordered to suit the specific needs of the individual.  Modern lenses allow for the correction of astigmatism, for the elimination of distance glasses and in some cases even reading glasses.  After the surgery, patients are discharged from hospital and asked to commence drops the same day.  They are seen the following day, then at 1 week and one month.  During the recovery period of 10 days we ask that the patient not do any strenous activity, not wet their eyes and wash their hands before administering drops.  Where needed glasses may be changed 4 weeks after surgery.