Explaining Cataracts

Patient Personal Story:

Mr Wu’s cataract journey and the joy his cataract removal surgery brought him.

Mr Wu's cataract journey and the joy his cataract removal surgery brought him.

Mr Wu had two cataract operations with me, with the second four years after the first. Here is his story he would love to share with everyone. You will gain a personal insight into his life living with cataracts and hear his own experiences going through cataract removal surgery. Note: Names & pictures have been modified for privacy purposes.

“Having always worn glasses since young and living with poor vision, I woke up the next day after having my cataract removal surgery to what seemed like a miracle. Seriously, I never imagined after so many years, now that I’m in my 60s’ to be able to wake up look at the clock and tell what time it is. It was sheer happiness.” Said Mr Wu.

This is how it all began.

In my mid 40s’ my eyesight was so blurry I couldn’t see across the room, and it only got worse. I had problems making out shapes or colours. In my 50s, my eyesight started to affect me badly. I couldn’t enjoy my favourite hobbies, including photography and simple things like watching my favourite football match on TV.

So when I went to my ophthalmologist, Dr Vanessa, she said I had a cataract in my right eye. She said she could see the beginnings of one in my left eye, but that I could leave that one alone for the time being. So we decided to go ahead with a cataract removal surgery for the right eye.

The day of the cataract removal surgery.

“I was terrified on the day of the operation, but my son came with me and the nurses were incredibly kind and looked after me all the time. I’d had a local anaesthetic when my first cataract was removed. I didn’t feel anything, and all I was aware of was a bright light as the surgeon got down to work.”

During the surgery, the cataracts were removed and the natural eye lens was then replaced with a thin, permanent artificial lens (Intraocular lens / IOLs). In my case, I chose to go with monofocal lenses, with one set to correct my distance vision problem and I opted to wear reading glasses for my near vision.

Cataract Surgery with IOL lenses. Once the affected lens has been removed, Dr Vanessa Neoh will insert a small acrylic lens in its place. The replacement lens is usually curled up in an injector and injected through the cut in the cornea. When the lens in place, it unfolds itself and adopts the natural position of the old lens.

“It was very quick. I was only in the theatre for 15 minutes and was able to go home shortly afterwards. My eye was covered with a plastic eye patch, which I was able to take off the day after the operation. I had the operation on a Friday and was back at work after a week.”

“My eye felt a bit dry for the first few days, but my sight gradually got better. It’s fantastic now and I can see colours again – brilliant whites and bright blues. It’s incredible and I have had no side effects.”

The first operation was a great success and I started to see much more clearly again, but then gradually my sight started to get blurry in my left eye, so Dr Vanessa said I should have the cataract operation over my left eye too.

I did ask her if my eyes could go cloudy again. She said there was a very small chance, but that a five-minute laser would soon sort it out.

If there is one thing you take away from reading this, it is that a cataract removal surgery is a quick and safe procedure with minimal risk. It can make all the difference in the world to your sight. So if your eyesight is affecting you, there is no need to put off a visit to your ophthalmologist.

To learn more about cataract surgery: Please read our detailed article here. 

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