When your doctor mentions surgery, it’s understandable to be nervous. If the surgery in question is cataract surgery, there’s no need to be. If you’ve got a cataract, eye surgery is the only option for treatment. However, because that’s the case, the surgery is extremely common and very safe. Here’s what you need to know about cataracts, as well as what you can expect from cataract surgery.
Cataracts happen when protein builds up on the lens of the eye, making it cloudy. If you have cataracts, you may experience blurry, dim, or double vision, may have poor night vision, and may be more sensitive to sunlight. Cataracts can also cause you to see a halo around bright lights, or to perceive colors as faded or yellowing. Sometimes, cataract symptoms aren’t troublesome, and your cataract might be discovered at a routine eye exam. This is a good thing, because with early detection of cataracts, treatment can be performed in time to prevent serious eye issues, including blindness.
What causes cataracts? There are several risk factors, including genetics, illnesses including diabetes, excessive sun exposure, smoking, and eye trauma. However, cataracts are typically the result of the natural aging of your eye. Cataract sufferers may be able to work around a cataract by using prescription glasses, a magnifying lens, or brighter lighting, but ultimately your doctor will probably suggest cataract surgery to deal with the problem and prevent it from becoming worse.
The surgery involves removing the lens of your eye and replacing it with an artificial one. While this might sound complicated and painful, it’s not. A week or so in advance of your cataract surgery, your doctor will measure your eye to determine its size and shape, in order to choose the intraocular lens (IOL) that’s right for you. This lens will be a customized prescription lens, made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic.
The surgery is an outpatient procedure, and your eye will be numbed but you will be awake. After making a tiny incision in the eye, your doctor will use a laser to break up the cloudy lens of your eye and remove it. Then, using the same incision, the IOL will be placed. The incision is self-healing, and cataract surgery recovery is typically quick. You’ll probably be able to return to your normal activities in a few days, though your eye may be itchy or sore. You might have tearing and have trouble seeing well in bright light, and you shouldn’t bend over, pick up anything heavy, or put pressure on your eye. You can drive the day after surgery if you feel comfortable. You’ll be given eyedrops to prevent infection. If you experience pain or any other unpleasant side effects, contact your doctor for advice.
If you need to have a cataract removed, call Snead Eye Group for an appointment. One of theonly practice in Southwest Florida to offer LenSx Femtosecond Cataract Laser surgery, we provide our patients with an optimized refractive surgery experience. We offer several different IOL options, and your doctor will work with you to determine which is right for you and your lifestyle. It’s all part of our commitment to providing the best possible eye care to improve not only our patients’ vision but also their quality of life. Contact us through our website for more information and to find the location nearest you.