Ophthalmology Treatments at Ashtead Hospital in Surrey

Ophthalmology Treatments

Ophthalmology Treatments

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. It causes a gradual blurring of vision. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes but it cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Most cataracts are related to aging as this causes the lens to harden and become cloudy. This is called age-related cataract and it’s the most common type of cataract. A cataract is also more often found in people who have some diseases such as diabetes.

Other types of cataract include: congenital (present at birth), traumatic (injury to the eye) and drug induced (steroids).

Surgery is the only available treatment for a cataract. Cataract surgery is normally recommended when your cataract interferes with your daily activities or lifestyle. It’s a quick and straightforward operation that is effective for most patients.  

Blocked tear ducts

A blocked tear duct is a partial or complete blockage in the pathway that carries your tears from the surface of the eye into the nose. As your tears can't drain normally you often have a watery and irritated eye and your tears overflow on your face and cheek. It may also cause redness of the white part of your eye, recurrent eye infection, painful swelling near the inside corner of your eye, crusting of your eyelids and pus discharge from the lids and surface of your eye.

Babies can be born with blocked tear ducts or adults may develop a blocked tear duct due to an injury, an infection or a tumour.

The cause of the blockage must be treated. If the duct is blocked because of a long-term infection, antibiotics will most likely be used. Surgery may be recommended to restore normal tear drainage. It uses tiny tubes or stents to open the passageway or a new channel may be created from the tear sac to the inside of your nose.

Excision of Meibomian cysts

The sebaceous glands in your eyelids are called Meibomian glands and they produce the greasy part of your tears which stop them evaporating away too quickly. If the Meibomian gland gets blocked it swells and forms a firm, round lump on your eyelid, called a Meibomian cyst or chalazion.

If the blocked gland becomes inflamed or infected the Meibomian cyst will be red and sore. It may press on your eye and blur vision too and sometimes the cyst bursts through the skin or through the lining of the eyelid.

Meibomian cysts will very often get better by themselves. If a cyst persists for weeks or months a minor operation, known as incision and curettage, may be required. Normally under local anaesthetic a small cut is made on the inside of your eyelid and the contents of the cyst are scooped out.

Entropion eyelid treatment

Entropion is often an age-related condition where the lower eyelid rolls inwards and causes the lashes to irritate the front of your eye (cornea). It mainly affects the lower eyelid of one or both eyes and causes an uncomfortable watery eye.

Eye drops may be recommended if your entropion is mild. If you have severe entropion it can be painful and cause vision loss due to cornea damage. Surgery may be required if its causing considerable discomfort or if it’s posing a risk to your eye’s health. Entropion is treated by lid surgery, which is generally done under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. Your eye surgeon will discuss with you the surgical options most suitable to treat your entropion.

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