Getting Cataract Surgery in Singapore?: Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before the Procedure

Unbeknownst to many, cataract is both the leading cause of blindness in the world and one of the top global causes of visual impairment, with more than 95 million people afflicted with the condition. This makes cataract surgery the most commonly-performed surgical procedure – and one of the safest as well. If your vision is starting to get cloudy, dim, or blurry due to cataract, your best course of action is to seek consultation and treatment from Dr. Claudine Pang of the Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre in Singapore. Dr. Pang is an eye specialist and ophthalmologist with more than 15 years of experience in the field. She is also an internationally recognized cataract and retinal surgeon, which means you can be rest assured that you will get proper care and treatment. With your eyesight on the line, only the best and nothing else will do, right?

This article will discuss the following questions about cataract surgery in Singapore:

  • What is cataract and what causes this condition?
  • Who needs cataract surgery?
  • What are the symptoms of cataract?
  • What happens during a cataract surgery?

Before going through the questions one by one, let us review first how the eye functions. The cornea serves as the front window where the light rays enter. The light rays go through a small hole in the center of the iris called pupil before it reaches the lens, and finally, the retina. The retina is the part that is responsible for converting the image into impulses that the optic nerve sends to the brain. One interesting fact about the process is that the image in the retina is displayed upside down and only when it reaches the brain can it be processed in an upright position. The entire process happens so fast that it earns the eye the distinction of being one of the most complex organs of the human anatomy (the only organ more complex to it is the brain).

Cataract: definition and causes

During our early years, the lenses of our eyes is comparable to clear glass, and as we grow older, the lenses start to appear frosted, which results in diminished quality of vision. This is how cataractoccurs – when the lens of the eye develops hazy or cloudy patchesdue to aging. The lens is made up of proteins and water and proteins tend to deteriorate over time. When they do break down, these proteins remain in the eye, king it difficult to see clearly. In order forthe eyes to see, light should be able to pass through clear, undamaged lens. The lens is the part of the eye that refracts or bend light and having a cataract is similar tolooking through a dusty or foggy window.

Cataracts are common in older people – the estimate indicates that more than 50% of individuals80 and years oldand above have had cataracts. For most people, the condition starts around the age of 40. The symptoms, however, will not start to appear until after the age of 60. Due to a birth defect, there are babies born with cataracts, but this is very rare.Cataracts can also affect both eyes but as it is often the case, either one way suffers a worse state than the other or the condition may develop belatedly.

A person is high risk for cataracts if they have a family history of the disease, consume alcohol frequently and heavily, smokes cigarettes, and/or resides in an area that has bad air pollution.

Who should have cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is not always required for cataract patients. Some people with cataract do not experience any change in their vision while some others can see properly if they use better lighting or prescription glasses. However, the problem starts when the cataracts grow. This is because the larger the area where the cataract is, the worse the symptoms are. Cataracts typically worsen slowlyover time and if start to affect a person’s eyesight and quality of life, surgery may be needed to replace the cloudy lens.It is important to bear in mind that there are no medications or eye drops that have been proven effective against cataracts – whether it is to improve a condition or mitigate the risk of them getting work.

A person with cataract may also decide to put off having surgery while the condition is manageable and have regular check-ups to assess and monitor the situation.Cataracts are not considered as medical emergency so there is no need to expedite surgery to remove them. The best thing to do is to consult with a doctor to learn the advantages and risks of cataract surgery in Singapore.

Symptoms of cataract

The truth is, some people with cataract may not even know it – either the changes in their vision are insignificant or do not bother them, or their cataract is still in early stage. For those in the opposite spectrum, the cataract causes impairment in vision and affects their daily activities.

To determine if you have cataract, here are the signs that you should watch out for:

  • Vision that is foggy, hazy, blurry, or cloudy
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights, including headlights, lamps, and the sun
  • Changes in color perception
  • Seeing glare (a halo that surrounds lights), especially while driving at night because the headlights appear too bright
  • The need to change spectacle prescription often

What happens during a cataract surgery?

The patient is awake during the surgery but no need to worry – numbing drops will be applied to the eye to minimize discomfort and pain. The doctor will cut into the eye and break up the cloudy lens before taking it out. Once done, the doctor will then place the artificial lens in the eye. During the procedure, the patient will be aware of movements and lights but will not be able to actually see what the doctor is doing. Those who have cataracts in both eyes will need two separate surgery sessions, usually about one month apart.

A final word of advice

Cataract surgery in Singaporeis safe, effective, and has a high success rate, with about 9 out of 10 people saying their vision improved afterward. For recovering patients, the vision will be blurry at first and colors may appear to be brighter – both are normal and should not be a cause of concern. If you experience any issues like bleeding, swelling, vision loss, or unusual changes, seek medical attention immediately.

Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre:

#15-10 The Paragon

290 Orchard Rd

Singapore 238859

+65 6732 0007 | +65 9118 0007

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