A cataract is a hardening of the lens in your eye which makes it cloudy. It causes a gradual blurring of vision in one or both eyes and difficulty reading, a sensitivity to light, colours may appear faded or have a yellowish tinge and more frequent changes of glasses than usual.
Cataracts most commonly occur as part of the aging process but they may result from injuries, illness such as diabetes, certain drugs such as steroids and inflammation in the eye. They can also be congenital (present at birth).
If a cataract interferes with your work, driving or lifestyle, cataract surgery will usually be recommended. It’s a straightforward operation that’s effective in most patients.
At New Hall Hospital we run a specialist clinic for the assessment and treatment of cataracts. During a cataract operation anaesthetic eye drops are given so no injections are necessary. A small incision is then made into the eye and using state of the art technology your surgeon will remove the cloudy lens by a process known as phacoemulsification and insert a new lens. Following the procedure your eyesight should improve.
Blocked tear ducts
A blocked tear duct is a partial or complete blockage in the pathway that carries your tears from your eye to your nose. This means your tears can't drain normally and often results in a watery and irritated eye and tears running out on to your face and cheek. Adults may develop a blocked tear duct due to an injury, an infection or a tumour.
When tear ducts are blocked, trapped bacteria in the nasolacrimal sac can lead to infection, called dacryocystitis. Symptoms of infection include: inflammation and redness of the inside corner of the eye or around the eye and nose, recurrent eye infections, eye mucus discharge and crusty eyelashes.
Your ophthalmologist will treat the cause of the blockage, for example if the duct is blocked due to an infection, antibiotics will most likely be used.
Surgery may be advised for a blocked tear duct and dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a common surgical procedure for this. DCR creates a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of your nose to allow your tears to bypass the blocked part of your tear duct. Surgery may also be performed to open up the blocked passageway using tiny tubes or stents.
Excision of Meibomian cysts
Meibomian glands are situated on your eyelids and they produce the greasy part of your tears to stop them evaporating too quickly. If the Meibomian gland becomes blocked it can swell and form a firm round lump on your eyelid, called a Meibomian cyst or chalazion.
The Meibomian gland may become inflamed or infected and the Meibomian cyst will be red and sore and may press on your eye, blurring your vision. The Meibomian cyst may also burst through the skin or through the lining of the eyelid.
Meibomian cysts often get better on their own. However, if you still have a cyst after a few weeks or months, your ophthalmologist may recommend a minor operation called an incision and curettage. It’s performed under local anaesthetic and a small cut is made on the inside of your eyelid to allow the contents of the cyst to be scooped out.
Entropion eyelid treatment
An entropion happens when an eyelid rolls in so that the eyelashes brush against the eye. The eyelashes irritate the front of your eye, known as the cornea, and cause an uncomfortable watery eye. Severe entropion can be painful and lead to vision loss as the cornea becomes damaged. The lower eyelids are far more commonly affected than the upper lids and it can affect one or both eyes.
Entropion is often due to ageing changes in the eyelids. Age related entropion only affects the lower eyelids. Other types of entropion are caused by scarring of the backs of the eyelids due to disease or to injury.
An entropion will need a surgical operation. Entropion lid surgery is normally performed under local anaesthetic via eye drops on a day case basis.