Cataracts Surgery: Things You Should Know

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cataract surgery

When the natural lens of the eye begins to cloud eye doctors call the event a cataract. This phenomenon occurs in most adults 40 years of age or older. As with other body tissues that age, the natural lens in the eye is composed of protein that ages over time and begins to cloud from the center to the periphery of the lens. As the condition evolves one's vision becomes progressively challenged to the point where the quality of vision in the affected eye may begin to disturb day-to-day activity. Cataracts occur in approximately 17% of the population within this age demographic and its incidence increases steadily with age.

Cataract Causes and Symptoms

There are several potential causes of the development of cataracts including genetics, unprotected exposure to sunlight, health disorders such as diabetes, and injury. All of the above can cause the affected individual with any of the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Unresolvable blurry vision
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Double vision

Cataract Treatments

Currently there are a variety of treatments available. The treatment proposed by the eye doctor is directly dependent upon the severity of individual's case. For instance, during the initial onset of the disorder a doctor may suggest using corrective lenses. Although this treatment does not work to improve the root cause of the condition it may help to temporarily improve the individual's eyesight. As the condition continues to develop the eye doctor may suggest cataract surgery where an artificial lens with the required vision corrective power needed for that individual is introduced into the eye in replacement of the natural lens. In the vast majority of the cases the post-operative vision quality can be as high as 20/20 vision. There are also lens options resolving astigmatism, and even reading vision needs as well.

Cataract Surgery Preparation

Once an individual has decided on undergoing cataract surgery there are a variety of things to consider in order to properly prepare for the surgery. For instance, a person may be required to undergo some pre-surgical tests so that critical basic information can be transmitted to the surgeon. These may include determining the shape and dimensions of the eye, an eye exam to measure for the exact artificial lens power to be implanted, along with the type of lens that could and should be used for the implant. Here are some other steps that a person may be requested to take prior to surgery:

  • Use antibiotic eye drops as a preventative measure against potential post-surgical infections.
  • Fasting for 12 hours prior to surgery
  • Stop taking any medications that may increase the risk of bleeding during surgery

Cataract Surgery Procedure

Cataract surgery is considered one of the safest and most effective procedures in the treatment of cataracts. The surgery is usually booked as an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient is not required to stay at the hospital overnight. Let's take a closer look at this procedure and try to gain a better understanding of what's involved with it.

The principle objective of cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens in the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens, also called intraocular lens. Here is a list of the basic steps involved in the surgery:

  1. Eye is dilated using eye special medicated drops
  2. A local anesthetic is applied to numb the eye tissues
  3. A small incision is made into the eye tissue using a surgical tool
  4. A viscoelastic fluid is injected into the eye through the small incision in order to stabilize the interior pressure of the eye
  5. Phacoemulsification procedure is done. This procedure involves the introduction of a hollow ultrasonic tool through the small incision into the eye, which breaks up and aspirates the sections of the natural lens.
  6. A new intraocular lens is placed and positioned for stability into the cavity left by the phacoemulsification in step 5.
  7. In the vast majority of cases where small incision surgery is performed patients do not require sutures. In these cases the eye doctor simply re-positions the tissues around the incision correctly and the incision will heal naturally with no issues.
  8. A bandage and shield is than used to cover and protect the treated eye for the first week of recovery

Post Cataract Surgery

Once the surgery has been successfully completed, some of the following recommendations you may be made to do.

  • Have someone available to drive you around for a couple days since you may not have the use of both of your eyes so soon after surgery
  • A local anesthetic is applied to numb the eye tissues
  • Consider arranging for assistance during the first week of recovery
  • Use eye drops either for hydration or anti-microbial needs during the initial recovery period
  • Don't lift anything heavy

Your eye sight should improve quite noticeably within the first few days, and then dramatically better within the first month. Although cataract surgery is currently the most effective and safest way to treat the cataracts it is important to follow the pre and post-operation recommendations. Your eye doctor's recommendations are based on a vast number of successful procedures and their experience provides valuable information aimed at a successful result.

Cataract Surgery Preparation| Contact Lens King
Cataract Surgery | All About Vision


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