Cataract surgery FAQs

Find the answers to our frequently asked questions below.

  • When can I return to work after cataract surgery?

    The short answer is: After three days

    We advise that patients who have undergone cataract surgery wait a minimum of three days before returning to work. However, as everyone is different, your surgeon will make the best recommendation for you.
  • How do I book a free cataract surgery consultation?

    The short answer is: Simple – online, complete a form or call us

    It's easy to book your free Optical Express cataract surgery consultation. and take the first step on your journey to better vision. With the largest network of private clinics in the UK and Ireland, finding an Optical Express clinic near you couldn't be more straightforward.
  • How much does lens surgery cost?

    The short answer is: Prices differ, depending on the type of treatment

    The cost of your cataract surgery depends on your prescription and choice of lens. Your consultant will be able to provide a better idea of pricing at your first consultation.
  • How does cataract surgery work?

    The short answer is: By replacing your natural lens

    Cataract surgery removes your cloudy natural lens and replaces it with a premium synthetic lens. The lens is specially designed to improve your vision, so you don't have to rely on glasses and contact lenses.
  • Will I feel the synthetic lens in my eye?

    The short answer is: No

    Synthetic lenses sit within the eye, unlike contact lenses, which sit on the surface.
  • What is a cataract?

    The eyes' natural lens, known as the crystalline lens, needs to be transparent to allow you to see clearly. Cataracts is a term used to describe cloudy patches that can develop over time within the lens. The cloudy patches cause vision to be blurred. Cataracts usually develop as we get older, but can be removed through a procedure that replaces your cloudy natural lens with a clear artificial intraocular lens.
  • What are symptoms of cataracts?

    Cataracts can cause symptoms such as misty or blurry eyesight, glare and halos around bright lights, and difficulty seeing at night or in low light conditions. Cataracts can also cause a change in the perception of colour, since colours will appear less vibrant and faded when the natural lens becomes cloudy.
  • Can cataracts spread from one eye to the other?

    Cataracts are not contagious and they cannot spread from one eye to the other. However, if a patient develops a cataract in one eye, it is likely that they will go on to develop a cataract in the other eye as well.
  • How long does cataract surgery take?

    Cataract surgery usually takes less than 15 minutes per eye to perform. As surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic, you will be able to return home after your treatment.
  • Is a laser used to remove cataracts?

    During laser-assisted cataract surgery, the surgeon will use a laser to create a small opening on the surface of your eye in order to get access to your natural lens. The contents of the natural lens bag are then carefully removed and the premium synthetic intraocular lens is put in place.
  • Is cataract surgery painful?

    Cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, so you won't feel any pain during the course of the procedure. After surgery, patients generally experience some temporary and mild discomfort as the anaesthetic wears off.
  • Can I have cataract surgery on both eyes at the same time?

    If you need surgery on both eyes, each eye can be treated on the same day. Sometimes, cataract surgery will be offered on separate days however since comfort and speed of recovery after the procedure is improved when both eyes are treated on the same day this is often the preferred option. Your optometrist will discuss your surgery options with you during your consultation.
  • When can I drive again after cataract surgery?

    As your eyes will need time to recover, you must not plan to drive on the day of your surgery. The length of time you need to wait before starting to drive again depends on a number of factors. As vision improves quickly, it is likely you will be able to start driving in the days following surgery. Often, patients are able to drive without glasses as soon as the day after their procedure. Your optometrist will be able to confirm if you meet driving standards at your postoperative appointment.
  • What are cataract surgery complications or risks?

    Cataract surgery is a highly effective and low-risk procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are some small risks involved, such as infections, bruising, or swellings. Your optometrist and surgeon will discuss these with you in detail during your informed consent process.
  • How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

    A majority of patients usually notice a significant improvement in their vision within 48 hours after surgery. It might take one or two weeks for your vision to settle completely, as your eye adjusts to the new intraocular lens. Complete healing of the eye can take up to eight weeks. Your personal healing process will be monitored and supported during your aftercare appointments.
  • What is the success rate of cataract surgery?

    At Optical Express, we are proud to report that 97.7% of our patients achieve driving standard or better following their cataract procedure.*
  • What can I expect after cataract surgery?

    After the procedure, you will rest in our recovery room. You should then return home and rest in bed or sleep for a couple of hours. The following day, you will return for your first aftercare appointment, during which your optometrist will ensure that your eye is healing as it should be. You will notice an improvement in your vision after a few days and sensations such as dry or gritty eyes will usually subside after a couple of weeks.
  • Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

    At Optical Express, we provide premium multifocal intraocular lenses that can correct long sightedness, short sightedness and reading vision, therefore reducing your reliance on glasses or contact lenses. If you opt for a monofocal intraocular lens you should achieve an excellent level of distance vision but may still need glasses for reading or for close-up work.
  • How can I prevent cataracts?

    While there is no definite way to prevent cataracts from developing, there are various steps you can take to maintain good vision. You should have your eyes tested at least once every 2 years or more often if recommended to do so by your Optometrist. By regularly checking eye health, as with other eye health conditions, cataracts can be detected early and can be treated before the condition worsens. In addition, you should avoid smoking and alcohol, protect your eyes from UV rays, and eat a nutrient-rich diet.