Cataracts Facts & FAQs

Below are AVC’s cataracts facts and FAQs. Please click on the questions below to reveal the facts and answers:

The first successful lens or cataract surgery was performed by Sir Harold Ridley in 1949 and the procedure has an exceptionally high safety record developed over more than 60 years.

Cataract treatment is the most commonly performed eye procedure in the world and millions of operations are carried out every year. With the latest micro-incision phacoemulsification technology, no stitches are required and recovery is very quick. There are no injections as anesthetic drops are used instead.

The CLE procedure is virtually identical to cataract surgery. The only difference between the two is that a clear lens is removed in the CLE procedure and a cloudy lens is removed in cataract surgery.

A lifetime! Once the natural lens has been removed and replaced with a lens implant you will never require surgery again. The materials from which the lenses are made have been subject to accelerated ageing tests. Results have demonstrated that the lens material will last in excess of 150 years before showing signs of degradation.

Traditional intraocular implants are Monofocal lenses which focus light to only one point, meaning they correct distance vision only and glasses will be needed for near vision. This is the type of lens is typically used by the NHS and other private practices.

A multifocal lens has more than one point of focus, enabling clear distance, intermediate and near vision. It has revolutionized the results of treatment and allows for patients’ to be completely free from all visual aids.

Patients that have Cataract treatment with the NHS are not given an option regarding lenses and are solely offered Monofocal lenses that will only correct distance vision, leaving you with a reading prescription. Piggyback lenses can be used to treat these patients and a secondary lens (Multifocal) is implanted to correct your reading vision.

No. The optical design is completely different to varifocal spectacles. Instead of you needing to move your head to adjust your focus, you will be able to comfortably see distance and near without having to make any changes. Layered concentric circles are used to correct each form of prescription issue allowing for simultaneous correction of all fields of vision.

AVC provide lenses from the following companies:

Suitability for treatment and the type of lens is determined at your consultation.

If you are unsuitable for Multifocal lenses then Piggyback lenses will not be an option. However, Monofocal lenses are available for those found unsuitable for Multifocal lenses and can undertake Clear Lens Exchange to correct their distance vision but glasses will be needed for near vision.

No pain is felt as anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. However, some discomfort or pressure can be felt during the procedure.

Most patients notice a difference to their vision immediately after the procedure. Distance vision is the first field of vision to settle, typically taking 24 to 48 hours. However, it can take a bit of time for your brain to adjust to your new reading vision.

You will be able to perform most everyday tasks the day after surgery without any difficulty but the amount of time needed off will vary according to each individual. Your working environment will also be taken into consideration and the surgeon will advise on what precautions should be taken at your consultation. If there is an interim period between both eyes being treated, it can affect how much time you may need to take off work.

There will be a few restrictions after treatment. For example, it is recommended that you avoid any situation where you may be hit in the eye, like playing sports. At your consultation, we will take into consideration your lifestyle and hobbies when recommending any restrictions.

There is a small risk of infection with these types of procedures. To minimise the risk, each eye will be treated on a separate day.

All our treatments are carried out at our AVC clinic on 77 Harley Street. AVC are one of the very few clinics in UK where everything from consultation to surgery and aftercare is conducted under one roof.

The procedure involves removing the natural lens where a cataract develops, eliminating the chance of developing cataracts in the future. If you currently have a cataract in one eye, this procedure will eliminate the chance of a cataract developing in the other eye. When you undergo CLE treatment, it means that you will never develop a cataract in either eye at any point in the future.

The implant is inside the eye so it cannot be felt, it will not feel like a contact lens and you will be completely unaware that it is there, apart from experiencing greatly improved vision.

Your initial assessment, treatment days, one day after surgery, the two week and the six to eight week aftercare appointments are all usually carried out at AVC’s Harley Street clinic. After this time we can hand you over to the care of one of our many nationwide independent optometrist partners, allowing you to stay closer to home for the remainder of the follow-up appointments.