What are cataracts?
Did you know cataracts are the most common eye condition in the world? As we age, changes occur in the body. This is especially true with the eyes! Cataracts occur when the lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye, becomes cloudy. Cataracts typically progress slowly with time as we age. This can make it difficult to notice early visual changes. Luckily, cataracts can be removed surgically quickly and effectively.
The best way to detect early cataracts are through yearly comprehensive eye examination. Often times, the early signs of cataracts are undetected by the patient because of their gradual growth. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be related to cataracts:
- Blurry/hazy vision
- Glare/halos at nighttime (ex. difficulty with nighttime driving)
- Dull color vision
- Light sensitivity
Cataract surgery is a very common procedure, and complications (if any) are rare and treatable. The surgery itself is highly successful in improving the vision of patients about 95% of the time. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure usually taking less than 30 minutes to complete.
During the surgery, the doctor removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye while the patient is under a topical anesthesia. Next, the doctor inserts an intraocular lens (IOL), which remains permanently in place of the removed natural lens. The IOL compensates for the magnification the old lens provided.
Until recently, patients choosing to have cataract surgery could only receive a monofocal intraocular lens implant. While this provided good distance vision, the patient still required the use of reading glasses for intermediate and near vision. Today, there are intraocular lenses available to accomodate near, intermediate, and distance, giving patients a full range of vision. Your doctor will know which is most appropriate for your individual case. After the operation the doctor will apply a shield for the eye and provide you with eye drops to use as directed.
Recovery from Cataract Surgery
The patient may return home the day of the procedure. With proper rest and avoidance of any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, recovery is usually a matter of days, with only minor discomfort. The doctor will want to see you the next day for a post-operative visit and a few weeks after your procedure.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts, our team of highly skilled surgeons would be happy to address your concerns. Call our office today to schedule a cataract consultation!