A cataract is an ever-increasing clouding of the lens, which, when not treated successfully, can lead to blindness. Many people from the age of 50 suffer from cataracts; it is therefore unsurprising that more than 50,000 cataract operations are carried out in Switzerland alone each year.
What are the causes of cataracts?
In addition to age-related cataracts, eye injuries, metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, UV radiation and certain drugs can lead to the clouding of the lens.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Vision becomes increasingly blurred. There is often the impression that glasses are no longer suitable. Colours and contrast fade. The typical grey haze, as if looking through frosted glass, is only perceived at an advanced stage, but is then unmistakable.
How is a cataract diagnosed?
The ophthalmologist examines the eye with a slit lamp. This is a quick and painless examination.
How is a cataract treated? (Cataract surgery)
There are two methods of cataract surgery:
The standard method
The surgeon makes a small manual incision in the eye and thus facilitates access to the clouded lens. This is then broken up with ultrasound and extracted via suction. The new artificial lens is then implanted: it is inserted folded and unfolds within the eye. It is stabilised by small retaining clips. Generally, costs for the standard method are assumed by health insurance providers.
The femtosecond laser method
The femtosecond laser method allows very fine and precise tissue incisions within the lens, which are thus broken up and extracted via suction. Laser beams are a highly concentrated and therefore very high-energy light. The femtosecond laser uses this energy to effect pinpoint, highly precise cuts with minimal deviation without straining the surrounding tissue. The treatment is virtually painless, and the healing process is significantly shorter than with the conventional method. The costs for the femtosecond laser are not assumed by health insurance providers.
These are the benefits of the laser method:
- Precise, gentle laser technology
- Tailored treatment
- Laser parameters can be individually adapted to your needs
- Clear vision in less than 30 minutes
The procedure for cataract surgery
During a preliminary appointment, your eyes will be closely examined and measured. We can therefore work with you to adapt the surgical planning to your needs and, together with you, decide which surgical technique suits you best.
On the day of the outpatient procedure, our staff and your ophthalmologist will offer you comprehensive support. Before the operation, the eye is pretreated with eye drops, locally anaesthetised and disinfected. The operation is then completely painless. You are conscious during the procedure – general anaesthetic is only necessary in exceptional cases. In addition, the anaesthesiologist monitors your blood pressure, ECG and oxygen supply during surgery. Venous access is therefore established. Your body and hair will then be covered; only the eye to be operated on remains free. A little clip is employed to prevent the eye from closing. The operation usually takes about 15 minutes and proceeds as determined with you in advance. For the outpatient stay – with pre- and post-processing – please allow around 2 hours.
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