The word ‘cataract’ originates from the Latin word ‘cataracta’ which means waterfall. As water turns white as it falls, so does our natural lens in our eye as we age. A cataract is a clouding of our natural lens in our eye usually due to ageing.

Femtosecond laser

A femtosecond laser is a laser which emits optical pulses with a duration well below 1 ps (→ ultrashort pulses), i.e., in the domain of femtoseconds (1 fs = 10−15 s). It thus also belongs to the category of ultrafast lasers or ultrashort pulse lasers.

Micro-incisional surgery

Micro-incision cataract surgery (MICS) is an approach to cataract surgery through incision less than 1.8 mm with the purpose of reducing surgical invasiveness, improving at the same time surgical outcomes. The main confirmed advantages of MICS are the control and avoidance of surgically induced corneal astigmatism and the decrease of postoperative corneal aberrations.


Phacoemulsification refers to modern cataract surgery in which the eye’s internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece and aspirated from the eye. Aspirated fluids are replaced with irrigation of balanced salt solution, thus maintaining the anterior chamber, as well as cooling the handpiece.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration


AMD is a condition that occurs when cells in the macula degenerate. This occurs with partial breakdown of the RPE and the cells become damaged and die. Damage to the macula affects your central vision. There are two types – ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ AMD.


Dry AMD refers to ageing changes in the macula. The symptoms include blurred central vision that can cause problems such as recognising peoples’ faces or reading print.


In Wet AMD, new blood vessels grow from the layer of the eye called the choroid, which lies beneath the macula (which why sometimes people call Wet AMD ‘Choroidal neovascularisation’). These vessels leak blood and fluid (which is why another term for macular degeneration is ‘exudative macular degeneration’) and this causes the problems in your central vision. The longer these problem blood vessels are left to grow the more likely you are to lose your central vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy


Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body’s important source of fuel. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.

Diabetic Maculopathy

Diabetic maculopathy is defined as retinal thickening within two disc diameters from the centre of the macula.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This refers to the effect of diabetes on the retina. Sugar within the blood can have a damaging effect on the fine blood vessels of the retina. This can lead to leakage of blood and fatty deposits into the retina. Vision can become blurred gradually if this leakage occurs in the macula. New fragile blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina which can lead to bleeding within the vitreous cavity and lead to sudden loss of vision.


A device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation) by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules.

Laser photocoagulation

Laser photocoagulation uses the heat from a laser to seal or destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the retina.

Lens of the eye

Biconvex transparent body situated behind the iris in the eye; its role (along with the cornea) is to focuses light on the retina.


An oval yellowish area surrounding the fovea near the centre of the retina in the eye, which is the region of keenest vision.


The retina is the fine film that coats the inside of the eyeball.
It consists of special cells that convert light into electrical impulses. These electrical signals are sent to the brain where they are processed enabling us to ‘see’.
The central part of the retina is called the macula. This area is responsible for fine vision and colour perception.
The yellow circle is the optic nerve which transmits the signals to the brain.

Retinal vein occlusions

This refers to a blockage in one of the veins of the retina. This can occur in the central retinal vein or one of its branches. This occurs suddenly and results in blurred vision. The degree of visual blur depends on the severity of the blockage and the location.


VEGF or Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor is a naturally produced ‘signalling’ substance in the body that is thought to be partly responsible for the growth of the abnormal blood vessels in the eye that are responsible for Wet AMD. They work by blocking the action of the VEGF in the eye and so reduce the growth of these blood vessels. Unfortunately, the only way we can get these medicines where they need to be is with an injection in to the eye.


A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back to the heart. The deoxygenated form of hemoglobin (deoxy-hemoglobin) in venous blood makes it appear dark. Veins are part of the afferent wing of the circulatory system, which returns blood to the heart. In contrast, an artery is a vessel that carries blood that is high in oxygen away from the heart to the body.