What is a cataract?

Cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye that lies behind the iris.

What symptoms does somebody with a cataract experience?

Symptoms can vary from person to person. They may include one or more of:

Blurred vision
A spectacle prescription that can no longer fully correct the vision
Difficulty in driving, especially at night, because of glare or dazzle
Colours seem faded

What causes cataracts?
Most commonly cataracts are a natural result of ageing changes in the eye. They may occur due to a variety of other reasons as well. Cataracts usually develop after the age of 55 although there are exceptions to this rule.

What is the treatment for cataracts?
Cataracts can take many years to develop. If the symptoms of your cataract affect your day-to-day activities, you may consider an operation to remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens implant also known as intraocular lens or IOL. A cataract operation is the only treatment that can “cure” a cataract and improve vision. A cataract does not need to be fully developed before surgery.

What does the pre-operative cataract assessment consist of?
Dr Ioannides will review your medical history, assess the cataract using a microscope, perform a detailed examination of your eyes, and take several measurements of your eyes using specialised equipment. This information will be used to formulate a surgical plan and to calculate the strength of the lens implant (IOL) to be placed in your eye once the cataract has been removed. These specialised measurements are also helpful when considering a latest generation IOL (e.g. multifocal, toric). These IOLs not only could improve your vision but could minimise or eliminate the need for glasses following the cataract operation. At the clinic, Dr Ioannides will discuss in detail all options with you. You will have plenty of time to ask any questions or raise any concerns you have. The pre-operative cataract assessment lasts for more than 1 hour.

What happens of the day of surgery?
The operation takes place at Ygia Polyclinic in Limassol. You will be greeted by a member of the nursing team as well as Dr Ioannides who will be performing the operation. You will be asked to lie on your back and eye drops will be used on the surface of the eye so that there is no pain during the procedure. You will be fully awake and Dr Ioannides will make sure that you are comfortable. He will be talking to you and guiding you throughout the operation that lasts for about 15 minutes. The cataract will be replaced by a new, clear lens implant via a tiny incision. Following the procedure you will be reminded of the “dos and don’ts”, arrange a post-operative visit with Dr Ioannides, and be discharged home on the same day.

Dr Ioannides performs micro-incision cataract surgery (MICS) using phacoemulsification through a tiny incision that measures 0.2mm and requires no sutures. He has performed over 1,000 cataract operations, mostly high risk and complex procedures. He taught cataract surgery to ophthalmology residents at Manchester University Hospitals in the UK for 9 months in 2011 and 2012.