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Cataracts occur when there is clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy lens and insertion of an artificial (intra-ocular) lens. Younger people tend to have good vision for near and distance, however, with ageing reading glasses are usually needed. This is known as presbyopia. Standard cataract surgery involves placing a "mono-focal" intra-ocular lens. The disadvantage of a "mono-focal" lens is that it only provides clear vision for one distance and so in most cases spectacles will be needed after surgery, usually for reading. Using modern "multifocal" intra-ocular lenses (not available on the NHS) it is now possible to achieve good vision without glasses for most patients. Please book an appointment if you wish to discuss this option further.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that causes progressive loss of vision. Worldwide it is the most common cause of irreversible blindness. Although medical treatments are often effective many patients need surgical treatment. Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure for glaucoma which aims to lower pressure inside the eye and prevent loss of vision. Using new "safe surgery" techniques it is possible to slow or stop visual loss while minimising the risks of surgery.
SLT or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is a laser treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is often caused by raised pressure within the eye caused by poor drainage of fluid through the eye's drainage channels (trabecular meshwork). The aim of SLT is to use a laser to improve drainage. SLT is painless, quick to perform and done as an outpatient procedure. SLT can be performed as a first line treatment. Please book an appointment to discuss this option further.
Cyclodiode laser is an alternative laser procedure which aims to reduce the amount of fluid that the eye produces and thereby lower eye pressure. This procedure tends to be reserved for people with more severe types of glaucoma.
A PI or peripheral iridotomy is a laser treatment for people with, or at risk of, a type of glaucoma known as angle closure glaucoma. The angle is the part of the eye where the fluid inside the eye (intraocular fluid) drains. If the angle is narrow or closed then fluid cannot drain and there can be a build up of pressure in the eye causing damage. A narrow angle is usually detected on a routine examination and most people who need a PI will have no symptoms.
The iStent is a safe minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) procedure that can reduce the need for daily use of glaucoma eye drops. A small (1mm) titanium drainage stent is inserted into the eye's natural drainage channel to lower intraocular pressure.
The Xen Gel Stent is a new minimally invasive glaucoma surgery that aims to reduce intraocular pressure by inserting a small drainage tube into the eye. The stent allows fluid to drain from the anterior chamber into a reservoir (bleb) under the conjunctiva. The short video below provides a brief overview of the procedure.