What to Expect From Cataract Surgery
A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can make it hard for you to see. The condition is most common in older people, but anyone can have one.If your vision starts to cloud up, you can have your cataract removed and a plastic implant put in its place. That may sound scary, but it can improve your eyesight and make your life easier in lots of ways.
Who Should Have Surgery?
If you have a cataract, that doesn’t always mean you need surgery. You may not even notice any change in your vision. Some people who have this condition see just fine if they wear prescription glasses, use a magnifying lens, or rely on brighter lighting.But as cataracts grow, they can cause more symptoms and cause problems in everyday life.
You could have dim, blurred, yellow, or double vision. This can make it hard to read, work on a computer, and anything else that calls for clear eyesight.You may have poor night vision and find it harder to drive when it’s dark. People with advanced cataracts can even fail the vision part of a driver’s test.
They can make you more sensitive to glare from the sun. You might see a halo around bright lights. This can keep you from being outdoors as much as you’d like. It also makes it harder to play some sports, such as skiing or golf.If you have any of these symptoms, surgery could help.
Sometimes it’s necessary to get a cataract removed even if it doesn’t bother you. Your doctor may suggest surgery if yours keeps you from having a complete eye exam or makes it hard to treat another eye condition you have.
The surgery usually takes under an hour. Most people feel very little pain.First, your doctor will numb your eye with anesthetic, meaning you will be awake for the procedure. He may also give you medicine to help you relax.
He’ll make a tiny cut in the front of your eye. Through this, he’ll insert a small tool to break up the cataract and gently suction it out. Then, he’ll insert the new lens implant, which is made of plastic, silicone or acrylic, and close the incision. Your doctor may sew in stitches.
You won’t need to stay overnight at the hospital. Cataract surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. But you will need someone to drive you home.If you have cataracts in both eyes, you’ll probably be scheduled for two separate surgeries, typically a few weeks apart. This gives the first eye a chance to heal.