Posts

Number of Aussies living with cataracts on the rise

An increasing number of Australians are living with cataracts, particularly women aged over 80, according to new data released by the Medibank Better Health Index.

More than 700,000 Australians were affected by cataracts in 2016-17, an increase of 139,000 compared with 2010-2011. The figures, released to coincide with International Women’s Day, also showed than 18.5% of women aged over 80 were affected by the condition, compared with 13.4% six years ago.

“It’s well known that the risk of developing cataracts increases as people get older, however this new data also suggests there’s been a slight rise in the number of Australians affected,” Medibank clinical director Dr Sue Abhary said.

The numbers also indicate women are more likely to have cataracts than men, with 4.4% of Australian women affected compared with 3.5% of Australian men.

According to The Fred Hollows Foundation, this gender imbalance is reflected worldwide, with women around 1.3x more likely to have a visual impairment than men. As a result, women comprise around 55% of the 36 million people who live with blindness globally.

“We know vision impairment and blindness have far-reaching implications, not just for the women affected, but also for their families and for progress towards many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Fred Hollows CEO Mr Ian Wishart said.

“To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as targets for Vision 2020, we must eliminate all forms of inequity in access to eyecare for women and girls.”

Vision 2020 Australia has committed to working with its members both locally and abroad to help provide women and girls with access to eyecare services, and CEO Ms Carla Northam said it should be a priority for all countries.

“Gender inequality in eye health is clearly a global issue, and we strongly support all of our members doing this work locally and globally,” Northam said.

“Addressing gender imbalances in eye health will go a long way towards reducing avoidable blindness around the world.”

Insight

Cataract Surgery

What types of conditions will benefit from cataract surgery ?

Cataract Surgery is a microsurgical procedure used to remove cataract from the eye.

Read more

YAG Laser Capsulotomy

What types of conditions will benefit from YAG Laser Capsulotomy ?

In some patients after cataract surgery, the lens capsule becomes cloudy. This causes the vision to become cloudy or hazy. In these instances YAG Laser Capsulotomy is recommended. A laser beam is used to create an opening in the cloudy capsule and this allows light to pass through easily.

Read more

fasting before cataract eye surgery

Why is fasting before cataract eye surgery important ?

Sometimes, even though patients know they will have intravenous sedation, they still do not understand why fasting before cataract eye surgery is necessary. On occasion a patient arrives for cataract surgery having eaten breakfast and unfortunately in these cases surgery has to be postponed, which can be very inconvenient for patients and doctors alike.

So why do you need to fast?

Fasting before cataract eye surgery reduces the risk of stomach contents/acid going the wrong way down into your lungs while you are asleep. Stomach acid can cause lung damage.

What is the correct way for fasting before cataract surgery?

  • NO solid food is to be eaten for at least 6 hours prior to your admission time.
  • NO fluids (except water, black tea or black coffee) are to be taken for at least 2 hours before your admission time.

Your regular medications may be taken at their usual time with a sip of water.

This is prepared by Anaesthetist
Dr Joanne Silverton 

eye conditions, cataract simulation

Cataracts – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

What are cataracts ?

Cataracts are a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. This in turn affects vision. Cataracts form for many reasons but the most common is age.  It is normal for people over the age of 65 to have some mild form of cataracts. Causes of Cataract development include age, steroid use, trauma, radiation, or as a result of other eye conditions such as glaucoma.  Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes, sometimes years apart, but it cannot spread from one eye to another.

Read more