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Posterior Capsule Opacification

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Posterior Capsule Opacification

The lens capsule is the thin, elastic-like bag that holds the intraocular lens (IOL) in position after cataract surgery. During the operation, the front (anterior) portion of the lens capsule is carefully opened and the cataract is removed. The IOL is inserted into the remaining (posterior) portion of the capsule. 

The remaining portion of the capsule becomes clouded in some post cataract surgery patients. When this occurs, patients experience symptoms similar to those from the original cataract. That’s why posterior capsule opacification is sometimes known as secondary cataract. 

Signs and Symptoms

 
Detection and Diagnosis


Your Optometrist can diagnose posterior capsule opacification during a routine eye exam using a slit lamp microscope, though sometimes the pupils need to be  dilated to fully assess the condition.
 

Treatment

A simple procedure called a YAG posterior capsulotomy is performed to restore vision lost from the clouded capsule. The YAG is a type of “cold” laser used to create a small opening in the centre of the capsule, allowing a clear area for light to enter the eye.
The procedure takes a few minutes, and usually a small local anaesthetic is used to make things more comfortable. Like all surgical procedures, there is a very small risk involved in lasering the capsule.

After the dilating drops wear off, most patients notice an immediate improvement in vision. The improvement each person experiences is dependent on the extent of the capsular clouding and the overall eye health.

 

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