Cataract surgery restricted in NHS areas

Reports suggest that around 50% of Primary Care Trusts across England have restricted access to patients requiring cataract surgery – without sufficient clinical evidence for doing so.

Dr. Kamlesh Chauhan from the College of Optometrists, highlighted the importance of overturning unfair cataract rationing policies immediately saying, “Cataract surgery is a highly effective procedure that restores people’s vision with tremendous benefits for their quality of life.”

Cataracts are generally found in older age groups, although they can occur at any age, and may even be congenital.

Epidemiological studies suggest that up to 30% of those 65 years & older will have a ‘visually impairing’ cataract in at least one eye in England. This is estimated to rise to over 70% when considering the 85+ age group.

Age is certainly the biggest risk factor, but research indicates that

  • Family history
  • UV radiation exposure (especially a lifetime accumulation)
  • Smoking
  • Eye trauma
  • Systemic disease like diabetes

are all thought to play a significant role in its development.

There are three types of age-related cataracts and surgery remains the only effective treatment available to restore or maintain vision.

Nuclear (central) and cortical (peripheral, or spoke-like) cataracts are the most common presentations of age-related cataracts. Posterior sub-capsular are less common, but often will occur at a slightly younger age and will usually cause the sufferer more problems with glare and visual loss.

If you have you experienced any restriction for any hospital eye treatment in Enfield then let us know by Twitter on @hammondoptician or by posting on our Facebook page