Date Posted: 1st August 2019
Sight gives us the freedom to live the life we choose and make independent decisions, so the thought of losing it due to cataracts can be quite scary for anyone.
Cataracts are most common with older adults, but they can also appear in babies and young children too.
They form as small cloudy patches on the lens of your eyes and over time, become much larger, causing blurred and misty vision, and if untreated, can possibly lead to blindness.
Cataracts can be a major irritant for anyone, easily affecting everyday life tasks such as simply reading and watching TV.
So, these are the questions to ask when considering cataract surgery: Do bright lights make it more difficult to see? Is your sight affecting everyday tasks such as pouring boiling hot water to make a cup of tea? Can you see safely when driving?
Is your vision affecting your quality of life?
If you answer YES to any of the above, then you should make an appointment to be seen.
Seeing your local Optician who would refer you to a Consultant Ophthalmologist for treatment on the NHS for cataracts, would lead to a minimum wait of at least 36 weeks from initial consultation to treatment.
That’s three months short of waiting a year to potentially get your sight back. But, the long wait can be avoided by going straight to St Joseph’s Hospital, Newport, who are a Centre of Excellence for Ophthalmology.
Now, the thought of eye surgery would strike fear in the hearts of the bravest people, but it is a relatively simple procedure and involves the removal of the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens.
During surgery the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial, foldable lens implant to improve vision.
There are a number of artificial lenses available which can correct both near, and far, sightedness.
Your consultant will advise you on which lens is the most suitable. There are some eye conditions, including astigmatism, which may limit the choices.
Cataract surgery is also offered when a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem. For example, if a cataract makes it difficult for your consultant to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration.
For more information about the Centre of Excellence for eye surgery visit Ophthalmology at St Joseph's Hospital.
St Joseph’s Hospital is offering a free cataract consultation and all you need to do to get this free service is to download the promotional code from www.stjosephshospital.co.uk/cataract-surgery/
Mrs Jane-Ann Jones, a 74-year-old from Penarth, was recently treated at St Joseph’s Hospital and here’s what she had to say about her treatment:
“My eyesight was awful to the point where I had to stand directly in front of my friends to see them,” said Mrs Jones.
“I couldn’t read or watch TV, even with strong reading glasses – my eyesight was really affecting the quality of my life.
“Rather than waiting the 18 months for my second cataract to be done on the NHS I chose to go to St Joseph’s Hospital privately.
“It’s unbelievable the affect cataract surgery has had on my life. It’s now one month since my operation and the difference is overwhelming. Just opening my eyes in the morning when I wake up is incredible. It’s made a difference to everything imaginable.
“My surgeon, Mr Andrew Feyi-Waboso is such a gentleman. He puts you at ease straight away – you feel you’re in safe hands.
St Joseph’s Hospital provided very good care – I felt cared for by everyone including the anaesthetist.
Consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Andrew Feyi-Waboso, is passionate about International eye health care and set up the Gwent Zomba Malawi Health Link in 2015. He also founded the charity Sight 2020 Direct and is a Trustee (sight2020direct.org).
This is a charity aiming to deliver sight saving eye surgery and develop blind football. He also ran the London Marathon with one of his blind patients in 2016 to raise money for Blind Veterans UK and Sight 2020 Direct.
“Sight is the most feared sensory modality known to man,” Andrew commented.
“Blindness from cataracts is preventable, with cataract surgery being one of the most cost-effective interventions in modern medicine.
“The operation transforms patient’s lives giving them the ability to choose and make independent decisions. Patients want to maintain their freedom and improve their quality of life.”
The VERION Image Guided System by Alcon is designed to provide greater accuracy and efficiency during cataract surgery.
The VERION System is comprised of three main components. The first takes key measurements of the eye. The second enables the surgeon to utilise those measurements to determine an optimised surgical plan, including what power replacement lens to implant.
The third features a digital overlay that enables the surgeon to determine accurate replacement lens alignment based on the unique anatomy of the patient’s eye. All of these components come together to help the surgeon consistently achieve their refractive targets.
Only a handful of hospitals in the UK currently use state-of-the-art VERION technology.
It is particularly useful in patients with co-existing astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common eye condition that occurs when the cornea isn’t a perfectly curved shape.
Instead of having a regular, “football-shaped” curve, the cornea is shaped more like a rugby ball and results in blurred vision without glasses.
Astigmatism can be corrected during cataract surgery with the aim of minimising the need for glasses after the operation. At St Joseph’s we use VERION to place a special toric lens into the eye with a precision and accuracy that was previously impossible.