Cornwall LivingIssue #88
Let there be sight
Mr Patwardhan tells us about the different options available at Duchy Hospital when it comes to cataract surgery.
The human eye works like a camera. It has a natural lens that allows images to focus on the retina. This lens is transparent until it turns cloudy and develops opacity – otherwise known as a cataract. This is most commonly caused by age-related changes to the lens. Occasionally, cataracts can develop at a much younger age due to the use of steroid, injury to the eye or metabolic disorders.
Modern cataract surgery is a very sophisticated procedure performed by highly trained and skilled Ophthalmic Surgeons using technologically advanced equipment. The procedure takes 15-20 minutes under local anaesthetic, requires no stitches and no hospital stay. The surgeon, using a phacoemulsification machine, breaks the lens in the eye and sucks it out. An acrylic intraocular lens (IOL) is then inserted in its place. This restores clear eyesight.
According to Mr Patwardhan, standard IOL, also known as monofocal lens, gives clear focus at a fixed distance. So, if the clear focus is for far distance, the person will need glasses to read books or work on the computer. Premium IOLs, however, are specially designed to provide spectacle free vision. These lenses are not routinely available on the NHS. Multifocal IOLs provide focus at all distances and Toric IOLs correct astigmatism.
Multifocal IOLs enable clear near, intermediate and distance vision without the need for glasses. The ‘Bifocal’ lenses are designed to give two distinct areas of clear vision, near and far. The new ‘Trifocal’ technology, available through Duchy Hospital, gives an additional area of clear vision for intermediate distance, for instance a computer screen. The technology, which uses Extended Depth of Focus, allows smooth transition of vision from distance to near but offers less clear vision for near-sight than the Bifocal or Trifocal technology.
Mr Patwardhan continues: “Toric IOLs are designed to correct astigmatism, which where a person’s cornea is shaped more like the side of a rugby ball than a football. This can be corrected by inserting a Toric IOL in the eye, instead of needing to wear glasses.”
There is a right IOL for everyone, be it standard or premium. Consultation at Duchy Hospital offers the opportunity to ascertain which IOL is suitable for an individual based on their eye examination, lifestyle and expectations.
If you wish to book an appointment to see Mr Patwardhan regarding cataract surgery or for more information and pricing, please call 01872 302805