Advanced Cataract Surgery
What is a Cataract?
Under normal conditions, the lens of the eye is clear. But, when a cataract is present, the lens appears cloudy and can seem as though you’re looking through a fog. With a cataract you may experience sensitivity to light, a need for brighter reading light, reduced night vision, fading of colors, painless blurred vision, double vision, and the possibility of changing your eyeglass prescription with greater frequency. The cloudiness can vary from one eye to the other and may not even be noticeable to the patient because it occurs gradually in most patients.
What a cataract isn’t:
Cataract is not caused by overuse of the eye, and it can’t be spread from one eye to the other. It is not just a film that covers the eye and will not cause irreversible blindness.
What causes a cataract?
The simple process of aging is the most common cause of cataract. However, family history can also play a part. If you have had an eye injury or medical problems, like diabetes, these can also contribute to the formation of a cataract. You’re also more susceptible to cataracts if you have had previous eye surgery, if your eyes have been exposed to sunlight over a long period of time, or by the use of steroids and other medications.
How do I know if I have a cataract?
See your ophthalmologist. Your doctor will conduct a thorough examination of your eyes and can determine if you have a cataract or if there are other factors causing your symptoms. Cataracts tend to develop gradually when they are associated with the aging process, but when they are found in younger people or people with diabetes, they can progress at a much quicker pace. However, since cataracts can develop at a different rate even from your left eye to your right, it is impossible to accurately predict how fast they will progress.
How are Cataracts Treated?
To fully remove a cataract, surgery is the only answer. However, if your symptoms are mild, you may need nothing more than a new eyeglass prescription to relieve the problem. You won’t find a miracle cure in dietary supplements, medication, or even eye exercises. Surgery is the only proven way to treat cataracts.
How can I avoid cataracts?
You may not be able to completely avoid cataracts, but you can help your eyes by protecting them from overexposure to sunlight by wearing glasses that screen ultraviolet rays.
When do I need surgery?
This is a decision you need make with your doctor’s help. If your vision is blurred to the point that it interferes with your daily activities or prohibits part of your job performance, it’s probably time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
What happens during surgery?
Cataract surgery is typically performed as an outpatient surgical procedure under a local anesthetic. Your doctor will remove the cloudy lens and will usually replace it with a permanent intraocular lens implant. This restores the focusing ability of your natural lens. Cataract surgery is successful in over 95% of the cases, barring problems with the cornea, retina or optic nerve. However, if complications should occur following your surgery, contact your doctor immediately.