Home' The Eye : June 6th 2013 Contents 12
The Eye 6.6.13
Dr Brett Rogers
Dr Brett Rogers 56 Victoria Avenue Phone (03) 218 7778
Invercargill Eye Clinic
Southern Cross Hospital, Invercargill
Cataract is a very common but easily treatable
eye condition, which causes reduced vision due
to clouding of the transparent natural lens inside
the eye. Cataract is a normal age-related change
that eventually affects everyone.
The eye's natural lens focuses light into the eye
allowing sharp vision, but as the lens becomes
hazy from cataract, light is scattered causing
the quality of the vision to deteriorate, often as
though one's spectacles were foggy or dirty, or
as if there were a permanent film in the vision
that cannot be blinked away.
Common symptoms include dull, drab, hazy
vision and glare or dazzle, especially on bright
days or when driving at night.
Cataract sufferers may frequently try to clean
their spectacles to improve their vision.
Those affected may think they are "just getting
older" and because their vision loss is gradual,
they often forget how sharp their vision once
was, until normal vision is restored by cataract
Quality of life suffers and those affected
become a danger on the roads and have a
significant increased risk of depression, falls, hip
fractures and car crashes.
The overall quality of the vision may be very
poor despite sometimes still actually being able
to read small print on a standard eye chart, so
symptomatic patients may inadvertently be told
that their cataract is "not yet bad enough to
treat", however there is no advantage in waiting
until cataract becomes advanced or 'mature'
before being offered treatment.
In the early stages sunglasses may reduce glare,
but the only way to treat significant cataract
is with surgery. Cataract is treated when
symptoms begin to interfere with everyday
activities such as driving and reading.
A Cataract Surgeon can then easily and safely
remove the cataract and restore normal,
Almost everyone over the age of 60 is affected
by cataract to some degree. Cataract slowly
worsens until virtually everyone over the age
of 80 would see significantly better if they had
In New Zealand about 30% of those who have
cataract surgery are aged in there fifties or
sixties; 35% in their seventies and 35% are over
the age of 80.
Following cataract surgery most agree that they
would have sought treatment much earlier had
they realised how much cataract surgery would
improve their vision.
In public hospitals there are limitations to
receiving appointments for both assessment and
surgery. A scoring form is completed and your
'score' determines whether you can have public
It is often wrongly assumed that a low 'score'
means the cataract is not bad enough to treat
when that is not the case. The threshold 'score'
is simply determined by hospital funding
limitations and those with a lower score, with
cataract symptoms, often choose to regain
normal vision by having their cataract surgery
performed privately, where those 'scoring'
limitations do not apply.
Specialist Cataract Surgeon, Dr Brett Rogers has
performed private cataract surgery at Southern
Cross Hospital in Invercargill for many years and
has performed about eight thousand cataract
Dr Rogers removes the cloudy cataract with
microsurgery, through a tiny incision. A clear,
foldable, intraocular lens (IOL) replaces the
cataract and restores normal vision.
Most of Dr Rogers' cataract surgery is
performed under local anaesthesia, then the
patient goes straight home. Some patients
prefer to be asleep for the operation.
Cataracts do not grow back. The IOL does not
wear out; it lasts a lifetime.
Dr Rogers uses "refractive" cataract surgery to
reduce the reliance on distance spectacles by
correcting shortsightedness or longsightedness
during the surgery.
Recently, oval-shaped, astigmatism-correcting
"toric" IOLs became available, enabling a third,
common spectacle problem called astigmatism
(caused by a slight oval shape to the surface
of the eye) to now also be corrected as part of
These new "premium" astigmatism-correcting
IOLs can give much better distance vision
without spectacles than standard IOLs and
whilst they are not normally used in public
hospitals, they are used in about 40% of Dr
Rogers' patients undergoing cataract surgery at
Southern Cross Hospital.
Following such surgery, most can expect to have
excellent distance and reading vision and to see
well enough to both drive and watch television,
without spectacles, regardless of the previous
need for even very strong spectacles worn since
Private cataract surgery can be performed
within 1-3 weeks of being seen. One does
not need to have medical insurance to have
private cataract surgery but those with medical
insurance policies are normally covered for most
or all of the cost of private cataract surgery.
Patients can make appointments to see
Dr Rogers for initial cataract assessment or to
transfer from the Public Hospital for private
cataract surgery, by telephoning Dr Rogers'
rooms, at (03) 218-7778.
CATARACT - An easily treatable condition
Invercargill Eye clinic
Affiliated Provider to Southern Cross Healthcare
for Cataract Surgery
Following Cataract Surgery
Links Archive May 30th 2013 13-Jun-2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page