Eye Health Care and Tips

What You Should Know About Cataract Surgery?

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:56 am

Cataracts are an eye condition, common particularly among older people, that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded, reducing vision. Unlike glaucoma, which affects the optic nerve and cannot be reversed, cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist. Here’s an overview of the cataract eye surgery process, lens implants, recovery, and potential complications. Knowing what to expect will help you decide if it’s the right treatment for you.

Cataract surgery replaces a clouded lens with an artificial lens

Cataract surgery can restore clear vision that is lost due to a cataract. A cataract is a clouding or loss of transparency of the eye lens. Cataract surgery removes the nonfunctioning lens and replaces it with an artificial implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL becomes a permanent part of your eye.

Cataract surgery allows you to see more clearly

Cataract surgery treats advanced cataracts that interfere with clear vision. Cataracts can make it hard to read, drive, see at night, and perform your usual activities. Cataracts are usually due to aging. They can also be caused by eye injury, eye surgery, a birth defect, or radiation or sun exposure.

An eye surgeon performs cataract surgery

An ophthalmologist will perform your cataract surgery in a hospital or outpatient surgery clinic/hospital. An ophthalmologist is a physician and an eye surgeon. Ophthalmologists have specialized training in caring for eye diseases with surgery, medications, and other treatments.

Your doctor makes an incision to insert the artificial lens

Your doctor will use anesthetic eye drops to numb your eye. You may also have sedation or general anesthesia to make you unaware of the surgery. Your doctor will make an incision along the edge of your cornea, the clear dome that covers the eye. The cloudy lens is removed through the incision and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Repeat surgery is performed on the other eye in 4 to 8 weeks, if needed.

There are two types of cataract surgery

  1. Small incision cataract surgery is the most common cataract surgery. It involves making a small incision. Your doctor inserts a tiny ultrasound probe to soften and break up the lens and removes it with suction.
  2. Extracapsular cataract surgery uses a slightly longer incision to remove the lens in one piece.

Cataract surgery has rare but serious risks

As with all surgeries, there are some risks involved with cataract surgery. Cataract surgery complications are rare but can be serious. Possible problems include postoperative infection, glaucoma, retinal tear, vision problems, secondary cataracts, scarring of eye tissue, and bleeding inside the eye. You can reduce some risks by following your treatment plan exactly as directed by your eye doctor.

The surgical prep includes an eye exam and other tests

You’ll need a complete eye exam in preparation for cataract surgery. You may also need special eye tests, blood tests, and other tests. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about taking medications and when to stop all food and drink before surgery. You will also need to arrange a ride back to home after the cataract surgery.

You’ll have minor discomfort after surgery

Your doctor will use anesthesia to keep you comfortable during surgery. Tell your doctor before surgery if you are anxious about pain. You may have minor eye discomfort, sensitivity, or itchiness after surgery and during your recovery. You doctor will treat your symptoms. Call your doctor if you are following your treatment plan but you are still experiencing pain.

Cataract surgery recovery takes about two weeks

You’ll probably go home the same day of your surgery. Recovery is a gradual process that varies between individuals. You will need to wear a temporary eye patch or shield to protect your eye as you heal. Prescription eye drops will speed up the healing process. Most people return to usual activities within a couple of weeks. Full recovery takes eight to 10 weeks. Some people still need to wear glasses after recovery for optimal vision.

Most people see crisper, clearer images after cataract surgery

You may also see brighter colors. Your improved vision will allow you to pursue activities that were difficult with cataracts. This includes driving, reading, writing, sports, and needlework. Clearer vision will also improve the safety of driving and nighttime activities.

How much does cataract surgery cost?

Cataract surgery in India cost depends upon multiple factors and vary from hospital to cities. Average cataract surgery cost between ₹15000 to ₹50000.

Deciding When to Have Cataract Surgery

Having cataracts does not mean you should rush to have surgery. In some cases, you could wait years to do it. Other people might not need it at all. Cataracts develop slowly. They do not cause pain. But, they can affect how well you see, and this can affect many aspects of your life. Also, advanced cataracts can be harder to remove.

You don’t have to make the decision by yourself, or based on what your friends say. Talk with your eye doctor about when to have cataract surgery based on what’s best for you. There are many factors to consider. This article orignally published in healthgrades.

Read about Age-Related Macular Degeneration of Eyes

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