Opticians and optometrists have joined forces with hospital surgeons to help prepare patients for their cataract operations.
A video has been produced explaining what happens when patients are referred to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust for cataract surgery. This is starting to be shown in opticians across the county in a bid to help patients decide whether they are ready for surgery.
Cataracts are when the lens of your eye develops cloudy patches. As people get older the lenses start to become frosted, like bathroom glass, and begin to limit vision.
Surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens inside your eye with an artificial one. It’s the most common operation performed in the UK, with a high success rate in improving eyesight.
Mr Mohit Gupta, a Consultant Ophthalmologist at ULHT, said: “Cataracts get slowly worse over time and surgery to replace the cloudy lens is the only way to improve your eyesight. For some people they are ready to have the surgery immediately, for others they would rather wait until their eyesight has deteriorated further.
“There is no right or wrong answer about when to have surgery, it is simply when the time is right for each patient and whether they think the problems they are having with their vision are bad enough to take the risks associated with the operation.
“We hope by seeing the video in their opticians people will be able to make an informed choice about whether they are ready to be referred to their local hospital.”
The video explains how cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure that takes 10 to 30 minutes. It’s usually carried out as day surgery under local anaesthetic and you get to go home on the same day. The aim of the video is to prevent early referrals for surgery, this will then help to reduce waiting times and improve patient experience.
David Burghardt Vision Care in Nettleham is one of the opticians taking part in the project. Optometrist David said: “I think the video is a great way to reassure patients and help prepare them for surgery.
“As we see more and more people needing cataract surgery, it is really helpful to be able to show them the video and put their mind at ease.”