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Overview

A cataract is a vision defect that manifests in clouding of the naturally clear lens located in the pupil and iris. Often, patients will complain of blurred vision and if left untreated the crystalline lens will become cloudy and turn opaque. Mostly, both eyes will be affected by cataracts simultaneously, but rarely does the disease develop rapidly in one eye rather than the other.

Cataracts are most common in older people and tend to develop gradually over time. They can normally be cured with a short operation that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial plastic lens. Unless this surgery is carried out the patient can go blind which, unfortunately, happens all too often in developing countries that don’t have the resources to carry out the number of operations necessary.

Cataract surgery is performed by an approved ophthalmologist on an outpatient basis, meaning you aren’t required to stay in hospital after the surgery. It’s a common surgery and is generally a safe procedure; if done correctly.

If you’re having problems seeing objects properly due to cataracts your doctor may recommend cataract surgery. Also, if a cataract is interfering with the treatment of another vision defect such as myopia or hyperopia, cataract surgery may be recommended before the underlying defect is corrected. For instance, cataracts make it impossible for doctors to examine the inner part of the eye for conditions such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, thus it becomes necessary to recommend cataract surgery.

Cataract Eye Surgery Prices

Cataract Surgery Prices (correct as of November 2019)

Clinic Consultation Cataract/RLE Monofocal Lens (per eye) Cataract/RLE Trifocal Lens (per eye)
Optimax
Free
£2,995
£2,995
Ultralase
Free
£2,995
£2,995
Optegra
£225
£2,495
£2,495
Optical Express
Free
From £1,995
From £3,195
Center For Sight
£350
£3,195 – £3,995
£4,100 – £4,500
Advanced Vision Care
£200
£3,150 – £3,450
£3,750 – £4,050

Is Finance Available for Cataract Surgery?

Finance Available For Cataract / RLE Multifocal or Trifocal Lens (per eye)
Clinic Deposit Shortest Repayment Period (0% APR) Longest Repayment Period
Optimax
£500
12 months*
48 months (£64.40 at 11.5% APR)
Ultralase
£500
12 months*
48 months (£64.40 at 11.5% APR)
Optegra
£0
12 months (£269.50)
72 Months (£50.53 at 9.9%APR)
Optical Express
£500
10 months (£149.50)
72 Months (£51.19 at 11.9%APR)
Center For Sight
Varies
12 Months
24 months
Advanced Vision Care
Varies
12 Months
24 Months

Common Types of Cataracts

Cataracts Surgery Techniques

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

Can I Get Cataract Surgery Free on the NHS?

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

How Quickly Will I Recover from Cataract Surgery?

What Risks Are Involved in Cataract Surgery?

Can Cataracts be Prevented?

Frequently Asked Questions

The eye is numbed using anaesthetic eye drops so the only thing you may feel throughout the procedure is a slight pressure as the surgeon works on your eye.

After cataract surgery, the majority of people will need to wear glasses for short- or long-distance use, even if they didn’t rely on them prior to the operation. 70% of people need glasses when they are fitted with a multifocal lens and 95% with a monofocal lens. This is due to an artificial lens implant being unable to focus on various distances, unlike your natural lens. However, this natural ability is lost with age anyway so most cataract patients will need glasses to read prior to undergoing the procedure.

As they’re constructed from plastic or silicone, artificial lenses are designed to last a lifetime, so you shouldn’t require a repeat operation afterwards unless you suffer from PCO.

If your doctor doesn’t feel as though your vision has been significantly altered by the cataract and you’re still able to carry on as normal, they might not recommend you for surgery until your cataract gets worse. There may also be different cataract surgery requirements within your area, so you may want to check with the NHS as to what these are.

A very small number of people who undergo cataract surgery will develop PCO (detailed above), whereby a membrane grows over the lens capsule, clouding your vision. This is often described as a secondary cataract or ‘after-cataract’ and can arise a few months or even years after the initial procedure.

Further Information

Understanding Cataracts RNIB
Comprehensive guide to cataracts products by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in conjunction with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

OE Lens / CAT Treatment V1

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