Patients’ most common questions around cataract surgery

16 September 2021

Author: Kate Green

cataract q+a

Understanding cataract surgery


We get lots of questions about cataract surgery from our patients and, believe us, there’s no such thing as a silly question. It’s good for you to be as informed as you possibly can be before surgery day, so we hope that some of the below questions and answers will alleviate any concerns you might have. Here are a few of the most common queries we get from both our current and prospective cataract surgery patients:


First and foremost, what is a cataract?


A cataract forms when proteins in your eye clump together and cloud your natural lens. At first, it may not be noticeable but, as it progresses, a cataract will start to affect your vision more and eventually impair it altogether. This is a problem that will worsen with age and it can only be treated with cataract surgery.


How do I know if I have a cataract?


There are a number of symptoms which provide the first indication that you may have a cataract. These include:

  • Faded colour vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Worsening night vision
  • Halos around bright lights


If you experience any of these visual symptoms, it’s important to visit your optician for an eye test, or come to your local Optimax clinic. One of our optometrists can confirm the presence of the cataract for you, and discuss the next steps with you for removing the cataract with a simple surgery.


What is the cataract surgery process?


Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world, with 330,000 procedures carried out in England each year. The World Health Organisation also ranks it as one of the safest surgeries globally. Each of our surgeons are registered with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or the Royal College of Surgeons and have at least a decade of experience, so you can rest assured you’re in great hands!


The cataract surgery process is very quick and most patients are in and out of the treatment room within 20 minutes. Your surgeon will give you some numbing eye drops so you don’t feel any discomfort during the treatment. Then, a special ultrasound device is used to send waves into the lens of your eye, breaking up the cataract. After this, a suction device is used to extract the cataract, before a new artificial lens is inserted into the eye. The incision made in your eye is between 1-3mm meaning that your recovery time is likely to be very quick!


What is the cataract surgery recovery process?


For the first few hours, due to the bright lights during surgery as well as the eye drops, most patients find that their vision is a little blurry. This usually clears up by the evening but your eyes may feel a little sore for 3-5 days after treatment. It is recommended that you take these first few days off work in order to recover well at home. You vision should keep on improving for several weeks after your surgery as your eyes heal.


How can I prevent cataracts?


Cataracts are an age-related condition and therefore can’t be prevented as such. You can cut back on smoking and drinking, as well as eating a diet rich in vitamins A, C and E, which are all proven to delay the onset of cataract formation and slow the progression of the condition. Cataracts can only be treated surgically.


How common is cataract surgery?


Cataract surgery is the most common elective procedure in the world and, as we’ve mentioned above, hundreds of thousands of people across the UK have cataract surgery every year. Over 30% of people aged 65+ have at least one cataract, and this percentage only gets higher with each age group. In fact, over half of people aged 80+ have a cataract. Developing cataracts and requiring cataract surgery is completely normal which is why, at Optimax, we perform thousands of treatments each year.



If you’d like to see more FAQs regarding cataract surgery, you can read further information on our dedicated cataract surgery FAQ page. If you have any queries which haven’t been covered, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0800 093 1110, email or message us on any of our social media platforms. We’re more than happy to answer your questions and set your mind at ease before you come in for treatment.

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