Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about cataract surgery. Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how the surgery is done, view our animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
What are cataracts?
The lens of your eye is normally a clear, disc-shaped structure behind the coloured part of your eye (the iris). It focuses light onto your retina, which lines the inside of your eye and sends signals to your brain.
As you age, the lens of your eye may become cloudy. This clouding is called a cataract. Cataracts can also form because of:
- eye surgery
- inflammation in your eye
- prolonged use of anti-inflammatory steroid medications
- exposure to radiation.
Smoking and exposure to sunlight also increase your risk of cataracts.
Some babies are born with cataracts due to underlying metabolic diseases or genetic conditions. If you suspect your baby has a cataract, make an urgent appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
With cataracts your vision may become foggy or blurry. You may also experience:
- fading of colours
- reduced contrast
- poor night vision
- the need for brighter light for reading or close work, such as sewing
- double vision in a single eye
- sensitivity to bright sunlight or headlight glare at night
- frequent prescription changes for glasses or contact lenses.
Sometimes cataracts may improve your near vision, but only temporarily. Cataracts can occur in both your eyes or affect one eye before the other. They usually develop slowly over months to years and are painless. Regular eye examinations can detect cataracts as well as other eye conditions that may have similar symptoms.
If you have any sudden change in your vision make an urgent appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Preparing for surgery
Alternatives to cataract surgery
Options that may delay your need for cataract surgery, and when surgery may be recommended.
Results vs risks of surgery
The benefits and potential complications of cataract surgery.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
Questions for your doctor
What you should be asking before going ahead with cataract surgery.
Preparing for surgery
What you need to do before surgery.
Types of surgery
The different approaches to cataract surgery.
Types of artificial lenses
Choosing the right artificial lens for you.
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