A man looking at the computer screen

When should I have cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed in the UK, with a high success rate in improving eyesight. It involves replacing the cloudy lens inside your eye with a clear, artificial lens. Most people with a cataract will need surgery eventually as the cataract progresses and causes your eyesight to diminish.

Cataracts form slowly over a few years and usually result in vision gradually becoming more blurred. At first you might not even realise you are developing a cataract until you attend your annual eye test with your optician. If your optician identifies a cataract which is not yet significantly affecting your vision, the prescription for your glasses may be changed, and it may be recommended that you wear them more often. However, as the cataract develops and bad eyesight starts to affect everyday activities, including the ability to drive comfortably, surgery will usually be required.

We usually recommend surgery when the effects of the cataract impact on your lifestyle and this varies from person to person. For example, if you drive a lot or have a job that requires good vision, cataract surgery is usually recommended in the early stages. Cataracts can cause glare and difficulty with night-time driving, so your eye doctor (ophthalmologist/ophthalmic surgeon) will take into account your lifestyle as well as the results from your eye tests when recommending a suitable time for surgery.

Hussain, Badrul

Written in association with

Mr Badrul Hussain

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Experts in cataract surgery

Our cataract surgeons are highly regarded and all of them hold consultant positions at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Watch Moorfields Private consultant Badrul Hussain discussing cataract risks, diagnosis and treatment on the Health Show: Live Surgery. The episode also contains a video of the cataract surgery with Mr Hussain commenting on the procedure step-by-step and answering common patient questions.

video transcript

Please see transcript at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxNfl6fuNqA

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