How Much Does Cataract Surgery Improve Your Vision?

Cataracts form when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy or hazy which leads to distorted vision.

When these are removed and replaced with a clear lens implant (intraocular lens, IOL), vision is restored. So, yes, cataract surgery improves vision - usually as soon as the next day - and for some people, it’s even better than before.

But it mainly depends on the condition of your eyes.

These are:

  • How much the cataracts have matured.
  • Whether you suffer from other eye conditions.
  • The type of intraocular lens (IOL) you chose.
  • How fast your eyes heal.

Let’s discuss this in more detail. You can continue reading or click on the headings above to be taken directly to the section.

How Much the Cataracts Have Matured

The longer you leave cataracts untreated, the worse they will get and the harder it can be to operate on.

If you wait too long, your cataracts may become hyper-mature, which can cause loss of vision that will severely impact your ability to live your normal daily life.

Mature cataracts are also more difficult to remove and increase the risk of surgical complications. This means you’ll be less likely to benefit from clear vision.

Whether You Have Other Eye Conditions

If you have other eye conditions, it can affect how much the surgery will improve your vision. It can also increase the risk of complications, although the chances are still very slim.

For example, if you have high myopia (short-sightedness), it can increase the risk of retinal detachment after cataract surgery.

Retinal detachment is a very serious complication which requires medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner it’s treated, the more likely you are to restore good vision.

The surgery can also worsen pre-existing eye conditions such as diabetes or uveitis (inflammatory eye disease), which can affect vision.

The Type of Intraocular Lens (IOL) You Chose

There are three main types of IOLs you can choose to replace your cataract. This can affect how much your vision will improve and whether or not you’ll need glasses.

Firstly, standard monofocal lenses are the most common choice and usually used by the NHS. These will focus onto just one point of vision so you’ll need reading glasses after the operation. Toric monofocal IOLs can correct astigmatism.

Secondly, if you’d prefer not to be dependant on glasses, you can choose monofocal lenses with monovision. This is where your surgeon will adjust the power of one of your lens implants.

This can correct presbyopia (a kind of age-related farsightedness) and reduce your need for reading glasses. However, you need to have had cataract surgery in both eyes.

Third, if you have presbyopia, you can choose to have premium advanced presbyopia-correcting IOLs. They’re most commonly available as bifocal or trifocal lenses.

This can improve your reading vision without compromising your distance vision and allow you to have a greater range of vision than standard monofocal options.

However, not everyone’s eyes are suitable for these premium lenses. They’re only available as a private option, not with the NHS.

These IOLs can also improve vision and reduce of eliminate the need for glasses, which is why many people get confused between cataract surgery and laser eye surgery.

But there are some distinct differences - with one major one being the insertion of a lens implant.

How Fast Your Eyes Heal

The quicker your eyes heal, the sooner your vision will improve and you’ll be able to see the world in more vibrant colours.

It’s difficult to say precisely when your vision will be at its best as everyone heals differently. But on average, you should have recovered from your surgery and experience clear vision within four to six weeks.

dawn dusk full vision after cataract surgery


Another Vital Factor? Your Choice of Surgeon and Clinic

The condition of your eyes will largely determine how much cataract surgery can improve your vision.

Another factor is your choice of surgeon and clinic.

Cataract procedures are the most common operation of any speciality in the UK, with around 400,000 cataract operations carried out each year.

But, it’s normal to have some reservations. After all, the thought of an eye surgery is enough to make even the bravest of us feel uneasy.

The best cataract surgeons and clinics can help ease those anxieties.

Signs of a Good Cataract Surgeon and Clinic

Highly qualified with plenty of experience - the more qualified and experienced a surgeon is, the more capable they’re likely to be at their job.

Plus, rest assured that your operation and recovery will proceed smoothly with nary a complication in sight.

Highly rated surgeon and clinic - if people are satisfied with a service, what do they usually do? Write a review about it.

So, if a surgeon and clinic has a bounty of excellent reviews, it’s a sign that they’ve made a lot of people happy, have high success rates and low complication rates. It also says a lot about their customer service.

Excellent range of aftercare options - you’ll learn a lot about a surgeon and/or clinic’s quality of customer service from their reviews.

But, you can also gage this from their range of aftercare options. The best will offer a wide variety to suit their patients’ different needs.

Focus Clinic: The Most Trusted Laser Eye Surgery Clinic in the UK

At Focus Clinic, we offer all of the above and more.

That’s why we’re known in the industry as the most trusted laser eye surgery clinic in the country and have a 100 percent success rate for all common short-sighted prescriptions, including astigmatism.

Our two surgeons have over 45 years worth of experience and have performed more than 35,000 procedures between them. So, you can be rest assured you’re in safe hands.

All of this, plus our stellar customer service is why we’re ranked #1 on independent review website Trustpilot.

There’s More to Cataract Surgery. Learn More Here

And if you still want to learn more about cataract surgery?

Check out this page for a brief introduction to the procedure. If you’d like to learn even more then download our free guide to cataract surgery below.

Patient Guide to Cataract Surgery by Focus Clinic CTA