A cataract is the opafication of the natural lens. The age-related cataract is the most common type of cataracts. Some cataracts are inherent or the consequence of traumas, glaucomas, medication and generalized diseases, but these types are much less common.
The main symptoms of cataracts usually include the slow decrease of the visual acuity, increased glare sensitivity and a change in the lenses’ dioptic power. These processes can occur on one side only, but also on both sides. The age-related cataract rate vastly increases from the age of 60.
Modern standard intraocular lenses are usually single focus lenses which means that the patients usually will still need reading glasses. Another development with intraocular lenses (premium lenses) makes it possible to smoothen strong astigmatisms (toric lenses) and restores the ability to see things close by and far away without glasses (multifocal lenses).
Cataract surgery with laser and multifocal lenses
Cataract surgery is the most frequently conducted surgical intervention worldwide. In Germany alone more than 600,000 cataract surgeries are performed annually. This usually ambulatory procedure only takes about 10-15 minutes and the patient only receives local anaesthesia. The clouded lens is replaced by a folded artificial lens which is inserted into the eye through a tiny incision about 2.2 mm wide. If the patient doesn't suffer from any other eye disorders at the same time, about 90% of all patients undergoing this operation will have their eyesight improved significantly.