• Cataract clinic

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What is a cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside your eye that can impair vision – anywhere from mildly to severely. Most com­mon­ly, cataracts are a result of ageing. From age 50 on­wards, there is an ever in­creas­ing risk of cataract occur­ing, in­de­pendent­ly in either one or both eyes. Around age 60, cataract be­comes a "stan­dard risk" that needs to be reckoned with. By age 80, more than half of the popu­la­tion either have a cataract or have had cataract sur­gery. Cataract is also the prin­ci­pal cause of blind­ness in the world.

How do I notice a cataract?

Cataract clouds the lens and reduces the light that reaches the retina. It spreads light instead of focusing it, caus­ing haloes around stronger light sources such as lights of oncoming cars at night. While a cataract is still small, the cloudiness affects only a small part of the lens, and you may not notice any changes in your vision at first. Cataracts tend to progress slowly, thus vision and blurring only get worse gradually. Over time, as the cloudy area in the lens gets larger and the cataract increases in size, seeing can become very difficult. You may also notice some discoloring of your vision; it can obtain a brown­ish to yellow­ish tint. With advancing lens discoloration, you may not be able to clearly distinguish blues and purples anymore.

What causes cataracts?

The lens lies behind the iris and the pupil. It works much like a camera lens, by focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. It also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away. The lens is made of mostly water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.
As we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens – this is a cataract. Over time, the cataract can grow larger and cloud more of the lens. The protein in the lens changes from the wear and tear it takes over the years. While there is no single direct cause, researchers have identi­fied a number of factors that are associated with cataract, such as UV light, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, family history, previous eye injury, excessive alcohol intake and more.

What treatment options are there?

When cataract symptoms be­gin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision for a while using new glas­ses, strong bifocals, mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, appro­pri­ate lighting or other visual aids. But those are merely temporary mea­su­res to alleviate the symptoms, and will neither stop nor slow down a cataract's progress.
When the visual im­pair­ment reach­es a point where it nega­tive­ly affects the qua­li­ty of life, or be­comes out­right danger­ous (e.g. driving, espe­cial­ly at night), the time has come to think about cataract surgery. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of ageing. But there's no good reason to resign: cataract surgery is a simple, quick and almost entirely painless procedure to regain proper vision, and to almost instantly improve the quality of life by a large measure!

Cataract surgery - step by step.

Surgery is preceded by an exten­sive series of labo­ra­tory and visual tests. We use detailed ques­tion­aires to assess patients current health status and medi­ca­tion history, in order to eli­mi­nate potential compli­ca­tions. Highly advanced tech­no­logy helps us verify the viability and safety of the pending surgery. The com­bi­nation of tests provide our specialists with all neces­sary data to pre­clude com­pli­cations, and to choose the optimal foldable IOL (intra-ocular lens) and its correction factor. The testing does take a while, but is completely pain­less. To gain perfect insight into a patients eye, it needs to be dilated with medical eye drops, which can cause slight visual dis­comfort. We therefore provide wheel chairs with a helper person for our patients safety and comfort.
By the time all tests are done and have in­di­cated that there are no risks in going forward, patients are taken to the pre-surgery area, where medical eye drops are given in several inter­vals. This process is again pain­less, but takes some time and patience – the eye needs to be conditioned properly for surgery. The eye drops contain medication that almost com­plete­ly eliminates sensitivity for pain, thus doing away with the need for any anestetics – no injections are necessary.
During surgery, the patient's head is situated in a special "cushion" to immobi­lize it. The sur­gery, which only takes a few minutes, starts with a very small incision, through which the clouded lens is broken up using ultrasound ("phaco­emulsi­fi­cation"). The fragments are then carefully re­moved by suction. Subsequently, the fold­able IOL (intra-ocular lens) is inserted and secured in place. And that's it already – the surgery is completed in less time than it takes to drink a hot cup of coffee!
Post-surgery, the eye is covered with a padded plastic "cup" to let it recover and to pro­tect it from risk of infec­tions and touch­ing/rubb­ing during sleep. You spend a com­fort­able night in your hospital bed.

Welcome back to clear sight!

The next morning, you are taken to the testing area, where the plastic cup is removed and the area around the eye is thoroughly cleaned. At that point, you will experience a moment of great joy: your eye, previously impacted by blurred and discolored sight, can now see clearly again – without the need of glasses! It may be slightly sore and irritated for a while, similar to having dust in it, but we provide eye drops to help the heal­ing pro­cess and to eli­mi­nate the poten­tial for infec­tions. For the follow­ing nights, we re­com­mend that you wear the eye patch that we pro­vide during sleep. We also provide a pair of large sun­glas­ses that can be worn over normal glasses, to pro­tect the eye and shield it from a tempo­rary higher light sensi­ti­vity. And then: it's time to wrap it up and leave the hospital!

What's next?

A week after the operation, you have an appoint­ment with our spec­ial­ists: they would like to check the pro­gress of the heal­ing and the eye's general con­di­tion. A short but thorough inspec­tion is all it takes. On the odd chance that any irregu­lari­ties show up, the spe­cial­ist will be able to take the appro­pri­ate steps. Another final check will be schedu­led for a month after sur­gery – we want to make sure that every­thing is in long-term per­fect order.

The thing with old and new glasses.

You were in all probability wearing glasses before the sur­gery. You will now need to see your opti­cian to rep­lace the lens in front of your "new" eye with a neutral, non-cor­rect­ing one. An alter­na­tive – which in fact might be a better solu­tion – is to opt for a con­tact lens for the un­trea­ted eye. There is a good rea­son for that: the "new" eye uses the re­place­ment IOL to focus, where­as the lens in front of the un­trea­ted eye pre-adjusts that eye's focus at a dis­tance from the eye. With a cor­rect­ing lens in front of both eyes, tilt­ing your head alters the pre-focus of both eyes equally. But one eye without, and the un­trea­ted eye with a pre-focus­ing lens in front of it, tilt­ing your head results in focus at differ­ent angles and creates a "double", com­bined image (parallax shift). Using a contact lens for the un­trea­ted eye levels the playing field and elimi­nates the "double" image, be­cause both eyes again focus in the same manner. Your optician will be able to demon­strate and ex­plain the diffe­ren­ce and advise you on your options.

What about reading glasses?

The intra-ocular lenses (IOL) we use are mono­focal and help you see items from roughly one meter to infin­ity sharp and clear. But: they don't make any cor­rec­tion for the close (reading) dis­tance. If you needed read­ing glasses before the surgery, you will need reading glasses after the sur­gery as well, albeit with a different strength. Your opti­cian will mea­sure your "new" eye and deter­mine the neces­sary degree of cor­rec­tion. Your "new" eye re­qui­res 2-3 weeks to fully stabi­lize; we re­com­mend that you post­pone fit­ting new read­ing glas­ses until that time.

The good news: our package price.

Supamitr-Sena General Hospital is proud to offer a special, very afford­able and complete package at only THB 25,000, which includes:
• single room with meals, 1 night
• pre-surgery lab and visual tests
• single eye cataract surgery
• post-surgery follow-up tests
• foldable monofocal IOL
• hospital fee
• doctors fee
• nursing fee
• all associated costs for medication and materials
• take-home package including medical eye drops, eye patch, sunglasses, cleaning material and a post-surgery instructions brochure.
Unforeseen events, additio­nal treat­ments that may un­ex­pected­ly arise, and any treat­ments not related to cataract surgery are not included in this package, and will be charged separately.

Schedule an appointment now!

Would you like to make an appoint­ment for an eye exa­mi­na­tion, to de­ter­mine if the time has come for cata­ract surg­ery? Or maybe that has al­rea­dy been de­ter­min­ed, and you would like to make an appoint­ment for sur­gery now?
To sche­dule an appoint­ment, click this link (opens in a new win­dow) to send us your details and date pre­fer­enc­es online, and we will get back to you with appoint­ment sugges­tions as soon as poss­ible. The online form also allows you to enter details about your medical background, at your leisure. This will make your registration at the hospital a breeze.

Documents you may find interesting:

For your con­veni­ence, we have put to­geth­er a bro­chure with sug­ges­tions of how to pre­pare for sur­gery, and one with guide­lines to fol­low after sur­gery. These bro­chu­res are in .pdf format. Just click on the links to read them on­line (will open in a new window), or use a right-click and select "Save link as..." to down­load the bro­chu­res to your com­puter, so that they can be print­ed. If you are on a mobile / tablet device, tap and hold the link to make a menu pop up, which allows you to save the .pdf to your device.
• Preparing for cataract surgery
• Patient's guide after cataract surgery

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