Although it is a common condition, cataracts shouldn’t be something that we take lightly. It is important to educate yourself about cataracts even though you think that you are still far ahead from getting it. In fact, being knowledgeable in this topic also helps you to remain calm when it happens to you or your loved ones because by then you know what to do. Cataract surgery is a common procedure in the world even in Singapore. It has been around for more than 50 years but it’s no doubt that there are still confusions and misunderstanding about this topic. Worry no more because we already compile most Frequent Asked Questions about Cataract and Cataract Surgery in Singapore just for you!

1. What are the Symptoms of cataracts?

The most common symptoms of cataracts are dim or blurry vision, fading colour or yellowish vision, and constant changes of eye prescription. These symptoms can vary for everyone depending on the size of the cataract and their eye conditions.

2. How A Cataract is Diagnosed?

You will have to go for a cataract eye examination with an eye doctor to get your cataract diagnosed. It is often impossible to know the condition of your cataract with the naked eye.

3. Can I get Cataract at a Young Age?

Most of the time, cataract is caused by age and usually start to appear when we reach 50 years old and above. However, cataract can happen earlier in life due to eye injury, genetics, overused steroid medication and even health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. So yes, there is a possibility of us getting cataract at a younger age.

4. How can Cataract be treated?

Currently, the most effective way of treating cataract is by undergoing cataract surgery. The idea of cataract surgery is to remove the clouded natural lens of the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The ophthalmologist or the eye surgeon will create few incisions or cut on your cornea to remove your clouded natural lens. Usually, the cataract will be broken down using an ultrasound tool and the suction tool will remove the pieces. On the other hand, if you have a severe cataract, the doctor will usually remove it in one piece. Finally, the IOL implant will be placed in the eye to replace your natural lens.

5. How cataract surgery performed?

One of the techniques used in cataract removal surgery is Phacoemulsification. Phacoemulsification procedure aims to break the cataract into smaller pieces using a surgical device that emits ultrasound waves that is inserted through the incisions. The cataract pieces are removed skilfully by the surgeon using a special suction device.

6. Is there any side effect of cataract surgery?

The side effects of cataract surgery are temporary, usually within the range few weeks up to a month. Right after the surgery, you will feel slight soreness and discomfort. These usually will go away after a few days. Other side effects that could last a little longer such as:

Dry eyes (this might last for a month and can be easily treated with artificial eye drops)

Inflamed and Swelling within first 2 weeks after the surgery

Floaters or shadows cast on the retina. These floaters should disappear as your vision gets clearer. However, in the case where the floaters get worse, you have to go and see you eye surgeon

Light sensitivity and Blurriness

Cataract is something that is inevitable that everyone will experience at some point in their life (if we are blessed to live long enough that is!) So it is important to learn more about cataract and how cataracts can be treated. This information will surely be useful to you or your loved ones someday.