A cataract is clouding of the lens inside the eye. It usually develops slowly and people experience a gradual change in vision. A cataract may cause blurry vision, problems with glare and haloes (seen as rings around lights), and a change in your colour vision.
The most common cause for cataracts are age-related, but certain conditions, medications, eye injuries and other eye problems may also contribute to cataract development. Babies can also be born with cataracts. This is called congenital cataract.
When the cataract progresses to a point where it is interfering with daily activities and normal lifestyle, cataract surgery can be considered. If the cataract is not removed, your vision may stay the same, or it may get worse.
The purpose of the operation is to replace the cloudy lens (cataract) with an implant inside your eye. This implant should last for the rest of your life.
At Lumivision only the most experienced surgeons will perform your cataract surgery, with the highest quality equipment and facilities at their disposal. As with all of our procedures we ensure that you are seen in clinic and operated on by the same surgeon to provide continuity of care, something that is quite rare in the NHS these days.
The majority of our surgery is under local anaesthetic, you will be awake during the operation. Cataract surgery is a painless procedure, we either numb the eye with just drops or a numbing injection around the eye. All potential anaesthetic options will be discussed with you before your surgery.
Patients will have improved vision within a couple of days after surgery and this will continue to further improve over the following weeks.
Some people with co-existing medical conditions such as diabetes may benefit from certain adaptations to their treatment either before or after the surgery. At Lumivision we have an expert surgeon who specialises in operating on diabetic patients and can individualise their treatment plan.
Cataract surgery is a life changing experience and we understand that patients will want to discuss their options in details which is why we offer detailed consultations which are not rushed and patients are given time to process the information that is provided to them.
REFRACTIVE/ LASER EYE SURGERY
With over 40 million people treated worldwide, laser eye surgery is now one of the most commonly performed eye procedures. It involves using laser technology to reshape the natural curve of the eye’s cornea, leading to clearer and sharper vision. The procedure itself may take less than ten minutes, but the results can be life changing.
The two forms of Laser treatment offered are LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and LASEK (laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy). Both of these procedures are safe and effective, although LASIK has evolved to become the more common treatment globally.
Laser eye surgery’s popularity is largely due to the fact that it is a very safe and convenient alternative to contact lenses or glasses. Imagine never having to reach for your glasses, or put contact lenses in, ever again. Our experienced team will provide you the guidance and support you need during every stage of the process, and make sure you know what to expect before, during and after your treatment.
Laser Eye Surgery
At Lumivision we have access to the VISX™ Star S4 Smooth Scan Laser which has a variety of features to enable the best results.
The infrared eye tracking system follows the eye in all three dimensions. The variable spot scanning with its seven variable sized beams allows for faster, smoother and more precise treatment. The Blend zone feature enables a larger treatment area and is available for those with larger pupil, to minimize night time glare.
The iris registration helps in accurate axis alignment which may occur from sitting to supine position and this is crucial for patients with astigmatism.
With Lumivision we customise treatment according to individual patients requirements and corneal measurements. All our patients are seen by the same consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who specialises in refractive surgery, from the first consultation to surgery. We do not believe in outsourcing in consultations and clinical examinations to technicians or allied healthcare professionals; as pre-operative analysis and continuity of care is vital to a successful outcome.
Clinical studies show that Custom LASIK may improve not only what you see but also how well you see it.
With Custom LASIK
Surgeons are able to focus on the quantity as well as the quality of your vision. Many patients who have had Custom LASIK are reporting the ability to see clearer than ever before.
Higher Order Aberrations
Several types of visual imperfections, referred to as lower- and higher-order aberrations, exist within the eye and may affect your vision (the amount of these aberrations vary from person to person). Previously, only lower-order aberrations (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) could be measured and treated.
Higher-order aberrations may also have a significant impact on vision and have been linked to glare and halos. Now Custom LASIK may help to further customize your treatment of these higher-order aberrations that, in the past, could not be adequately treated with glasses, contacts or conventional LASIK treatments. Your surgeon will recommend the best procedure for you based on your wave scan aberrations measurements.
Uses a wavefront analyzer to measure the way light travels through your eye. The wavefront analyzer creates a customized 3-D map of your eye that looks at your entire optical system. This map provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye which adds an additional level of data about your vision, enabling surgeon to further customize your vision correction.
Not all patients are suitable for Wave-front treatment particularly those whose pupils are small . Your suitability for this procedure will be assessed at your consultation.
Dry Eyes/ Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a medical condition relating to the inflammation of eyelids and eyelashes. It is characterized by white flaky skin near the eyelashes. Blepharitis usually causes redness of the eyes and itching and irritation of the eyelids. The disease has been categorized into two types. Anterior blepharitis affects the front of the eyelids near the eyelashes. The causes are scalp dandruff and infection by the Staphylococcus bacteria. Posterior blepharitis affects the back of the eyelids, the part that makes contact with the eyes. This is caused by the oil glands present in this region.
There is generally no cure for blepharitis, but it can be controlled by maintaining regular eyelid hygiene. Application of a damp warm cloth on the eyes helps unblock the Meibomian glands and this should be followed by firm massage of the eyelids. Antibiotic drops or ointments are prescribed in severe cases. Blepharitis affects people of all ages, however, seborrheic blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction typically affect older individuals
Dry Eye Disease is largely under diagnosed condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. It’s generally not sight threatening but if left untreated, the symptoms – itching, discomfort and irritation – become worse and can increase the risk of infection and other visual problems. It is important for patients with this condition to take special care of their eyes in order to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. The diagnosis of Dry Eye is often missed because allergy, eyestrain and fatigue have similar symptoms. Your Ophthalmologist will determine if you have dry eyes, and provide a customized treatment tailored specifically for you. It is important that Dry Eye is managed correctly in order to prevent possible associated infections and/or visual disturbances that can occur if left untreated.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects the retina and its blood vessels in people with diabetes. In the early stages, patients don’t know they have a problem; in the worst cases, this disease can blind patients.
In some cases, fluid leakage in the central area of the retina can cause distorted or blurred vision in the early stages, and central vision loss if it progresses to end stage. In other cases, new blood vessel growth in any part of the retina can scar and shrink, leading to retinal detachment causing blindness.
Treatment and Management
If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness. Diabetics are encouraged to take their prescribed medication as directed by their physician, exercise regularly, watch their diet, and have regular eye examinations in order to help prevent diabetic retinopathy. All UK residents who have diabetes over the age of 12 should have annual diabetic retinal screening.
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and as it becomes damaged vision is lost.
Glaucoma affects about two per cent of people over the age of 40 in the UK. Although any vision which has been lost to glaucoma cannot be recovered, with early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular use of the treatments, the vast majority of patients retain useful sight for life.
What causes glaucoma? The damage to the optic nerve in glaucoma is usually associated with excessive pressure within the eye. A certain level of pressure is needed for the eye to keep its shape and to work properly, but if the eye pressure gets too high, it squeezes the optic nerve and kills some of the nerve fibres, which leads to sight loss. The first areas to be affected are the off-centre parts of the vision. If the glaucoma is left untreated, the damage can progress to tunnel vision and eventual loss of central vision, although blindness is rare.
One of the most significant risk factors for glaucoma is family history, so if you have any family members who have lost their sight or have been diagnosed with glaucoma, we would recommend regular screening checks both for peace of mind and in the unfortunate event that you do develop glaucoma it will be best to pick it up early.
At Lumivision we can provide some simple investigations to help screen for glaucoma and a thorough clinical examination by a Consultant Ophthalmologist who will have experienced all the varieties and complexities of diagnosing glaucoma.