A Question of Cataract

When your lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches, the quality of vision can quickly deteriorate.We meet one of the West Country’s most eminent eye specialists Adam Ross.

Adam Ross is a Consultant Ophthalmologist with a subspeciality interest in cataract surgery including micro-incision and complex cataract surgery, medical retina and uveitis.

He carried out his training in Bristol and Cheltenham, as well as visiting fellowships in New York and Washington. He has an extensive background in teaching and was the Ophthalmology Postgraduate Training Director and Head of School for Ophthalmology in the Severn Deanery as well as an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol.

His main clinical practice is at the Chesterfield Nuffield Hospital, Bristol and is also involved in research within the subspecialty of retina at Boehringer Ingelheim. Furthermore, he sits on the board of trustees for the charity SRUK (Sight Research UK).

TBM posed some questions to Mr Adam Ross about the common eye condition, cataract.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a common condition that causes clouding of the natural lens of the eye resulting in blurring or glaring of vision. They usually occur slowly over time.

Surgery is the only treatment for cataracts and is recommended based on the severity of the disease and the impact on the daily activities of the patient. During surgery the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic lens in the same lens capsule as the natural lens.

What are the symptoms?

Patients usually complain of a general reduction in vision, clouding of vision or other symptoms such as glare or haloes. Patients may find they also require brighter light for reading or other activities or that they are having to change spectacles on a regular basis.

How can they be treated?

Surgery is the only treatment for cataract and is recommended based on the severity of the condition and the impact it has on the daily activities of the patient. It is performed one eye at a time on an outpatient basis under local anaesthetic.

Are there different lens options?

Some options include: Monofocal intraocular lenses are set at a fixed point usually at distance and are the most common lenses used in cataract surgery.

Multifocal intraocular lenses are recommended after a thorough preoperative diagnostic evaluation. You will be questioned on your visual expectations and lifestyle – both work and leisure activities – and the importance given to both and amount of time spent on each.

Toric intraocular lenses are recommended for patients with moderate/severe degrees of regular astigmatism and can be used in monofocal or multifocal lens settings. With all lenses, it is important that an extensive assessment is carried out explaining the pros and cons of each option, often with repeated measurements and detailed discussion with the patient.

For further assessment?

It is important to see your optometrist/optician on a regular basis who can advise you on the general health of your eye and look for any signs of cataract.

Mr Adam Ross is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and is available for private consultation at the Bath Clinic in Bath. To make an appointment contact: 07341 672072 or email: hannah@hjadmin.com | adamross.co.uk