Cataract is the medical term for a clouding, frosting or loss of clarity of the eye’s natural lens which can then have an impact on your ability to see clearly. Book a consultation today & find out if you’re suitable for cataract surgery

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What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye which gradually leads to worsening of vision, it is a natural ageing process. As we age the lens of the eye hardens and enlarges, this loss of flexibility first leads to difficulties viewing objects close to which is called presbyopia. As this progresses vision deteriorates further and cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. As this process usually occurs slowly, many people believe that many of the symptoms they experience represent a normal decline of vision with age that is irreversible or that the world around them is changing e.g. headlights are becoming brighter. Many patients are delighted to discover that they can regain the vision they enjoyed earlier in life through cataract surgery.

What is a cataract? Animation

The Basics

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Let’s start by answering some of the most common questions. 

What is the Lens?

Think of the lens as the human version of a camera lens. It is the part of the eye that helps to keep light focused on the retina. In early life it is soft and can change shape so that we can focus easily from long to very short distances. Made of a jelly-like proteins the importance of the lens and the cornea in front of it is to ensure that your retina receives as sharp and clear an image as possible.

How does the lens change with age?

As our eyes age, the lens of the eye loses flexibility so that our vision may focus clearly for distance but struggle to focus on objects close to. Most commonly, this results in the use of reading or varifocal glasses. Laser vision correction e.g. PRESBYOND® is another alternative to wearing reading glasses if cataract is not present. As the lens continues to stiffen slowly with age, loss of clarity of the lens eventually follows.

Vision after 40 animation

What is Cataract Surgery?

As our eyes age, the lens of the eye loses flexibility so that our vision may focus clearly for distance but struggle to focus on objects close to. Most commonly, this results in the use of reading or varifocal glasses. Laser vision correction e.g. PRESBYOND® is another alternative to wearing reading glasses if cataract is not present. As the lens continues to stiffen slowly with age, loss of clarity of the lens eventually follows. You can learn more about cataract surgery here

What is a cataract animation

More FAQs

Cataracts are largely due to ageing but can be caused or worsened by medical conditions e.g. diabetes, certain drugs e.g. corticosteroids or trauma. Rarely genetic conditions can cause cataract and some children are born with cataracts called congenital cataract. Some eye conditions can also limit the outcome of surgery e.g. if macular degeneration or glaucoma are present, so we will perform a comprehensive eye examination at your consultation prior to surgery so that you can make a fully informed decision about your care and make a fully informed choice.

The main symptom of cataract is loss of the ability to see fine detail. Struggling to see sub-titles on tv, requiring more light when reading, losing interest in reading because of lack of clarity of print are all typical of early change. Cataracts tend to shift our colour perception as they filter out blue / white light causing a shift in spectrum toward creams and browns. Glare is caused by the lens scattering light and this is often experienced as dazzle with on-coming headlights or with a low sun. These symptoms can make driving conditions harder and often result in people avoiding certain conditions e.g. driving at night, even when the legal criteria for driving can be met. Find those criteria here.

It’s up to you.

Cataracts do not need to become mature or ‘ripe’ before surgery is required as modern surgery is both safe and effective. You do not need to wait for an optician to tell you that your cataract is ready for surgery or that you have fallen below a certain visual standard before considering surgery yourself. As a rule of thumb, most people will seek surgery when cataract has an impact on their everyday life e.g. driving or reading. Certain types of cataract may require surgical intervention for medical reasons e.g. mature cataract or in cases of narrow iridocorneal angle but most people will chose surgery when they feel that they wish to see better than they currently do and cataract is the likely cause.

David Anderson is a dual fellowship accredited refractive cataract surgeon which means that we are able to offer a wide selection of lens types to suit your needs and the type of eyes you have. These range from astigmatism correcting toric lenses, extended depth of focus (EDoF) lenses e.g. the Symfony and AT Lara lenses and trifocal multifocal lenses e.g. AT LISA Trifocal and PanOptix lenses. David has been using specialist lens types for over 17 years and is an acknowledged expert in lens surgery. Depending on your examination and preferences, David can help to guide you to the best choice for your eyes. 


Yes. Astigmatism is not a disease! It is an optical term to describe the way light is focussed by the eye. There are a number of options to treat astigmatism including the use of toric lens implants. David Anderson has published some of the largest studies on astigmatism in cataract surgery which can be referenced here:

Refractive lens exchange is the procedure of phacoemulsification performed before a cataract has formed so that a clear lens is removed. It is also called Clear lens Extraction (CLE) or lens replacement surgery. Please see our separate section on RLE.

Don't Take Our Word For It

Miraculous - life changing procedure
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I attended a presentation at Nuffield Hospital, I was very impressed with the information available. I arranged an appointment with Mr Anderson, I was anxious and nervous as I was extremely short-sighted, Mr Anderson explained the procedure and answered all my questions patiently and fully, I felt at ease and had every confidence in him. I had cataract surgery on both eyes, within a week of each other. The results are instant, I was so emotional - I now have the best vision of my life!! I cannot thank Mr Anderson and his team enough, everyone was so kind and considerate. I will recommend Mr Anderson to anyone considering this procedure - do not delay.
A flawless cataract operation
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A very pleasant experience from beginning to end. Mr Anderson is very approachable whilst being extremely thorough. The rest of the staff were fantastic. They all made my cataract operation so easy. Thank you.
Extremely impressive professional…
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Extremely impressive professional experience from the initial consultation, to the surgery and post operative follow up. An absolute model in every respect for every health care professional to digest. The team atmosphere at Eastleigh Nuffield was brilliant from start to finish. Their team camaraderie is obvious and can’t be faked. My personal outcome is perfect. Many thanks to David and the Nuffield team. Peter Syred BDS (Sydney) LDS RCDSO (Toronto) FAGD (Chicago) MSc (Warwick) LLM (Cardiff)
Incredible care from beginning to end
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Incredible care from beginning to end! Mr Anderson was very sensitive to my extreme anxiety about the procedure being painful. I was pleasantly surprised to experience absolutely no pain at all. I would highly recommend Anderson eye care
A Goodman
Extreme axial myopia
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Mr Anderson has recently treated me for cataracts. The results are fantastic - I opted for a multifocal lens in one eye and a single vision lens in the other. This means I don't need glasses unless printed text is very small or I need the thread a needle! As well as being naturally extremely short sighted, I have an astigmatism in both eyes which apparently makes me a complex case. Mr Anderson helped me make the right choices for my lifestyle and I couldn't be happier with the results I can read standard text and work at a computer without glasses, my distance and night sight are great and I don't have any haloing. My lens choices may not be appropriate for everyone but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mr Anderson to anyone considering eye surgery – he explains options thoroughly and provides first rate care and expertise at all stages of the process.
I would give 6 stars if I could.
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I had my first cataract op in Mar, for which I left a 5* review. 4 weeks ago it was the turn of the other eye and, as I discovered in my post op consultation, my vision is now better than 20/20. I cannot speak too highly of David Anderson as he explains the intricacies, allows time for discussion, is an excellent surgeon and caps it all by being thoroughly personable throughout the process. I would give 6 stars if I could!
Definitely Recommend
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I could not have asked for anything better from the initial consultation to the cataract procedures. Mr Anderson took time to explain the reasons behind my diminished eyesight and explained the procedure to rectify the cataracts to me and on the day of the procedure kindly went over everything again. All the staff on his team were wonderful and helped to put me at my ease and were all very kind and lovely. I would not have any hesitation in recommending Mr Anderson to anyone. It was just wonderful to get my eyesight back, so a big thank you to all involved.
I now have 20/20 vision
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I now have 20/20 vision, having had two cataract operations, both totally painless. I could not recommend Mr Anderson highly enough and I was very reassured by the kindness of the nurses at the Nuffield, and the professionalism of all the staff. I was offered sedation, which was very welcome as I was somewhat nervous, and the aftercare was very thorough. I can honestly say that I could not make a single complaint about anything: the care was amazing.

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