Of all the things adults have trouble with, top of the list is our eyes. That may surprise a few people, but in fact the world's most common operation is cataract removal, which is amongst many other operations carried out every week at Werndale Hospital in Bancyfelin.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), just over a quarter of the global population (2.2 billion people) have vision impairment caused by cataracts and refractive errors.

Werndale Hospital specialist care

Werndale Hospital is part of Circle Health Group, the largest provider of private healthcare in the UK. Whether you've been referred to Werndale or are contacting us direct, you will be looked after from beginning to end by the same surgeon. This ensures that you get the best quality care.

The Ophthalmology department at Werndale has recently been upgraded with new specialist equipment that includes the Lenstar, which, in a single scan records the entire biometry of the eye, so an ophthalmologist can see all the data necessary to understand the eye's optometry in one data set.

It is technology like this, along with the priority to always put patient care first, that puts Werndale at the top of referral lists when it comes to private healthcare in Wales.

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What are cataracts?

The vast majority of eye operations involve cataract removal and the replacement of the lens the cataract formed in (a cataract is the name given to the cloudiness that can form in a lens).

Our eye lenses contain crystalline proteins. These proteins are generally thought to help refract light to the retina at the back of the eye. However, as we age, the structure of these proteins can change, and over time, can block light thus reducing our vision.

It's the change in the structure or chemical makeup of the proteins that causes the tell-tale signs of someone with a cataract - an opaque or cloudy looking eye.

Improving your sight with implants

Cataract removal is one half of the operation, lens replacement is the other. Luckily, technology has advanced a great deal, and the choice of lenses covers almost every situation you can think of, including lenses that completely replace the need to wear glasses (the general condition of your eyes and other medical circumstances will be taken into account, and may have a bearing on this).

The lens you choose depends on your current eyesight of course, so if you're short sighted (you suffer from myopia) then the lens chosen can correct this. Once replaced, barring other medical conditions, you will never have to have the lens replaced again.

The same is true if you have hyperopia (you are long or farsighted) or if your eyesight is slowly deteriorating through age, even without cataracts. This happens to most of us, particularly once we get past 40, and it's when many of us start using reading glasses.

This is called presbyopia and can also be corrected at the time of cataract surgery by lens replacement. Our specialists at Werndale offer this treatment, which is unfortunately not available through the NHS.

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Advanced technology

Technology has advanced a long way from the early days of eye surgery involving cataract removal and lens replacement and can now be completed in around 15 to 20 minutes without needing a general anaesthetic. So you will be in and out of hospital within an hour or two of arriving and checking in, and your sight will be well on the way to returning to normal by the time you're ready to leave.

Lens replacement surgery involves removing the damaged lens from the eye; a new lens is then put in place to restore your vision. No stitches are required, and the eye will heal naturally over the following few weeks.

Your health in safe hands

When you visit Werndale with an eye problem, your consultant will carry out a comprehensive assessment, before deciding on the most suitable treatment, and explain, in detail, what this will entail.

Most eye operations are same-day, but should you need to stay overnight, you will be taken good care of in one of our private rooms with full en-suite facilities.

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If you'd like to find out more about lens replacement or cataract removal or other conditions that are affecting your sight, please call us on 01267 668541. We'll be pleased to advise you on your next steps.

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