Causes, symptoms and outpatient cataract surgery

Cataract – also known as cataract – is an eye disease that usually begins in middle age, around the age of 50, and is the most common cause of blindness if left untreated. In people with an advanced cataract, a gray tint can be seen behind the pupil.

cataract eyes comparison

Cataracts are the most common eye disease: between the ages of 50 and 65, about half of the population is affected. From around 65 years of age, it affects almost everyone. Cataract surgery is therefore one of the most frequently performed procedures: it is performed almost 15 million times a year worldwide.

In this case, the operation is performed by surgically replacing the clouded natural lens with a state-of-the-art artificial lens (intraocular lens) on an outpatient basis – usually with a multifocal lens or, alternatively, a monofocal lens. Our ophthalmologists at EuroEyes clinics have successfully performed several thousand cataract surgeries. The revolutionary LenSx® laser technology even enables blade-free implantation.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Depending on the intensity and position of the cataract in the eye, symptoms vary in those affected. Cataracts usually affect both eyes, but can also affect only one, which is considered a higher risk for long-term damage.

Early-stage cataracts are most often detected by a slit-lamp examination at the ophthalmologist’s office, without any symptoms to date. The question of how quickly cataracts progress cannot be answered in general terms. In some cases it takes many years before the disease leads to blindness if left untreated, while in others it progresses rapidly within a few weeks. In the advanced stage, the following symptoms usually appear in varying degrees, indicating cataracts:

  • Vision deteriorates in near and/or distance vision: Vision becomes more strained.

  • Vision becomes increasingly blurred: Vision as if through fog or a veil.

  • The vision of colors, contours and contrasts deteriorates: everything becomes dull and pale.

  • Glare sensitivity (nyctometry) increases: When light hits the retina, for example from oncoming traffic while driving at night, vision is severely impaired.

  • Light-dark adaptation worsens: It takes longer and longer to become accustomed to changing between light and dark environments.

  • Double vision is perceived: One suddenly sees double, similar to alcohol consumption.

  • Spatial vision (stereopsis) deteriorates: Due to poor depth perception, for example, falls are more likely and climbing stairs becomes a challenge.

  • Cataracts become visible: A grayish or whitish clouding can be seen on the lens.


In addition to cataract, visual impairments such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can also occur around the age of 70. Regular ocular fundus checks must therefore be taken very seriously. Now you can do the self-test with the Amsler grid: Macular Degeneration (AMD) self-test

Driving with cataracts

Driving a car with cataracts is only permitted as long as vision is at least 70 percent. If the visual acuity is less than this, an ophthalmologist’s certificate must be available that certifies the ability to drive. If vision falls below 50 percent, driving is generally no longer permitted. With cataracts, this can quickly become the case. In order for you to be mobile again and thus independent of public transportation, cataract surgery may be useful to restore your vision.

Cataracts increase the risk of dementia

A long-term study of about 5500 people found that the risk of dementia is reduced by almost 30 percent when people undergo cataract surgery. The researchers emphasize that no other treatment has so far been shown to have such a strong protective effect with regard to dementia. One of the reasons for this may be the general decrease in the transmission of neuronal impulses to the brain in cataracts. Withdrawal from sports and other activities is also frequently observed in people suffering from cataracts and promotes the development of senile dementia.

So cataract surgery not only increases your enjoyment of life, but also reduces your risk of developing dementia.

Are cataracts treatable?

The good news first: cataracts are curable! Although there is no medication for cataract treatment and without treatment the lens clouding increases to the point of blindness, cataract surgery permanently solves the problem and completely restores vision. In addition, additional vision aids due to age-related farsightedness or other refractive errors are also no longer necessary after eye lens surgery with the use of a multifocal lens. The right time for cataract surgery has come at the latest when limitations in everyday life due to diminishing vision appear.


Cataract treatment steps

Preparation of the eye

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes 15 minutes per eye. Before the procedure, the eye is anesthetized with drops so that the patient does not feel any pain during lens replacement. The eye is opened with a tiny corneal incision, which heals seamlessly.


Removal of the lens

The anterior lens envelope is opened in a circular fashion. Then the lens core is removed. The rest of the lens envelope remains and serves as a ‘holding apparatus’ for the new lens.


Implantation of the multifocal lens

The surgeon inserts the new lens into the eye with an injector. The lens unfolds and is properly placed in the empty lens case by the surgeon. It can remain in the eye for life and can be either monofocal or multifocal. Because a monofocal lens has only one focal point, the patient is still dependent on glasses after surgery. A multifocal lens, on the other hand, has multiple focal points. It enables sharp vision at different distances and thus a spectacle-free life.


Advantages of the multifocal lens compared to the monofocal lens

Cataract treatment can be done with monocular or multifocal lenses. Multifocal lenses have multiple focal points. The decisive advantage is that after the treatment the patient can see sharply again at near and middle distance as well as at a distance and is no longer dependent on reading glasses or varifocals. In contrast, monofocal lenses have only one focal point. They can therefore only improve vision either near or far. Complete independence from glasses cannot be guaranteed with monofocal lenses.

More technical details about the multifocal lens

The optics of the multifocal lenses used at EuroEyes are manufactured with the aid of patented SMP technology: a special process reduces stray light phenomena, which always occur with multifocal lenses, to an absolute minimum. The positive effect: less glare and fewer halos (light rings). In addition, the aspherical optics ensure optimized image quality and improved contrast vision under reduced light conditions, such as at dusk or at night.


To protect the sensitive retina, the lenses are optionally equipped with an extended light protection filter in addition to a UV filter. This protective function is used in ophthalmology, especially for the prevention of macular degeneration (AMD) or for patients who are already affected by AMD.

Treatment procedure


1. Consultation and aptitude test

  • Measurement of all relevant eye parameters

  • Diagnosis whether you are suitable for cataract surgery

  • In-depth consultation


2. Preliminary medical examination

  • Intensive preliminary ophthalmological examination and measurement of your eyes

  • Detailed treatment explanation by a medical specialist

  • Duration of examination usually 2 hours

  • Before this appointment you are not allowed to wear soft contact lenses for one week and hard contact lenses for two weeks

  • You will receive an aftercare kit for the days following your treatment. The contents and medication will be explained to you in detail by our staff.


3. On the day of your cataract treatment

  • Please bring someone to accompany you

  • We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing

  • Please refrain from wearing perfume and make-up on the day of your lens treatment

  • You can eat and drink regularly on the day of treatment, please do not smoke.

  • The total duration of this outpatient surgery is 10 – 15 minutes per eye.

  • The operated eye is protected by an eye bandage until the next day.

  • By the way: If it is about both eyes, we usually treat them on two consecutive days.

  • By the way: if both eyes are involved, we usually treat them on two consecutive days.


4. After your lens surgery

  • Please do not rub your eyes

  • Apply eye drops several times a day as directed by a doctor

  • Use artificial tears as needed

  • Professional activity after 2-4 days

  • Sports activities possible after approx. 3 days, avoid swimming and sauna in the beginning

  • Controls are usually: after 1 day – 1 week – 1 month – 3 months

  • Driving a car is allowed again only after permission of the doctor

The LenSx® Revolution: More precision through blade-free implantation

The femtosecond laser LenSx® enables blade-free implantation of artificial lenses for the treatment of cataracts for the first time – and is thus revolutionary in this sector. Several steps of the previous surgical method are combined in this laser lens surgery, making the surgeon’s scalpel unnecessary. The laser offers two major advantages over the previous method: Firstly, greater precision thanks to more exact positioning of the artificial lens during lens replacement. On the other hand, greater safety thanks to high-precision laser cuts.

EuroEyes is one of the first clinic groups and competence center for lens surgery in Germany to use the LenSx® in the field of laser lens exchange and now offers it at many locations – once again demonstrating a pioneering spirit. Because only the most modern and gentle methods are in line with the philosophy of EuroEyes: not only to correct your refractive error, but to constantly improve the quality of your treatment as well as the quality of your vision.

More about LenSx®


EuroEyes with almost 30 years of experience in refractive surgery

EuroEyes has long-term experience in the treatment of cataracts. Thanks to the outstanding pioneering position of Dr. Jørn Jørgensen in the field of cataract surgery: As early as 1990, he succeeded in being the first eye surgeon in Hamburg to perform cataract surgery on an outpatient basis – using a new small incision technique (phacoemulsification)- and less than a year later introduced “surgery without sutures”, EuroEyes has unique and incomparable experience in the treatment of cataracts.


With Dr. Jørn Jørgensen, EuroEyes is led by a pioneer in the field of cataract surgery. In 1990 he was the first eye surgeon in Hamburg to perform outpatient cataract surgeries with a new micro-incision technique (phacoemulsification). Less than a year later, Dr. Jørgensen introduced the “no-stitch surgery”. Thus, EuroEyes has a unique and unmatched experience in the field of cataract treatments. We have successfully performed several thousand cataract surgeries in our EuroEyes clinics.



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Saturday: 09:0014:00

*We are speaking English, German and Chinese.

About EuroEyes

The EuroEyes clinic group is a globally successful company that was founded 30 years ago in Hamburg, Germany, where it is still headquartered today. In addition to locations throughout Germany, EuroEyes is also represented in China and Denmark and England. The company offers patients the entire spectrum of refractive surgery to correct refractive errors. Using state-of-the-art laser eye and lens surgery procedures, EuroEyes treats more than 25,000 patients annually with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia or cataracts. Each of our experienced top doctors performs more than 1,000 eye surgeries annually. In total, we have helped more than 650,000 patients live a life of freedom without glasses or contact lenses.

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