Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the country. Since most people will get cataracts at some point, cataract surgery is very common.
It’s also something that people who are at least 40 years old should be aware of. When cataracts affect your life and impede your vision, it’s time to consider surgery.
Cataract surgery is the only way to restore your vision by removing your cataracts.
Cataracts are not treatable with any form of medication. Surgery is the only option for people with cataracts that impede their vision.
But the procedure is a simple one, performed on an on out-patient basis. It comes with few risks and should be a consideration for anyone with cataracts.
Who Needs Cataract Surgery?
Anyone above the age of 40 is at risk for cataracts. Many people consider cataracts as something that only affects the elderly.
Cataracts are frequently an issue for the middle-aged. This is because it can often take years for a cataract to develop.
Because of this, not all cataracts warrant immediate treatment. Doctors recommend that patients have surgery if cataracts affect their quality of life.
Cataracts develop slowly. This makes it more difficult to realize that visual symptoms are due to cataracts. This is why regular eye exams are more important once you turn 40.
When your doctor diagnoses your cataracts, they can track their progression. This in turn can help you navigate the decision of when and if to have surgery.
If you’re unsure if you have cataracts, keep in mind what the most common symptoms are:
- Blurry vision
- Decreased night vision
- Flashes of light
- Seeing halos around lights
- Trouble seeing contrast
- Double vision in one eye
If these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to see the eye doctor! You could have cataracts and may want to consider surgery.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that only takes around 30 minutes. It’s performed as an outpatient surgery.
This means you get to go home the same day as the surgery, usually after spending a little time in a recovery area. The surgery itself consists of a few steps:
The surgeon will give you a mild sedative and some numbing eye drops. You will be awake for the surgery.
The anesthetic eye drops will prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure. The sedative is only used to help you relax during the surgery.
Once your eye is numb, the surgeon will make a very small incision into your eye to access your lens. They will then use a small instrument that breaks apart the lens into small pieces.
They will then use another small device to suck out those pieces.
Once the natural lens is removed you will be given an artificial lens to replace it. This is called an IOL, or intraocular lens.
You and your doctor will select the right IOL for you before your surgery. Once the natural lens is fully removed, the IOL is then inserted through the incision.
To make the IOL fit, it comes folded up, but it will automatically unfold in your eye once inserted.
After that, you’re done! There are no stitches needed as the incision is small enough to close on its own within a few weeks. The procedure is quick and painless.
Because you do receive numbing eye drops, you’ll need someone to drive you home after.
If cataracts cause you to struggle in your daily life, cataract surgery is probably right for you! Schedule a cataract screening at Huffman & Huffman today!