Your Eyes work a lot like a camera, using a lens to focus on an image.The lens in your eyes can become cloudy as you age, making it harder for you to see. This natural condition is known as cataract. When your cataract interferes with your vision such that you cannot perform certain tasks with ease, a cataract procedure may be recommended. In this day procedure, usually performed under anaesthetic drops without injections around the eye, the cataract is removed and replaced with a crystal clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL). You usually can go home an hour later without a patch over the eye, and vision improves rapidly.
Cataracts are usually due to ageing, but can be caused by
However by far the most common cause is simply time / aging.
As a cataract progresses, the following may occur:
Cataract procedures have the potential to greatly improve the quality of life so it is important not to delay having the operation for inappropriate reasons. Nobody should delay surgery because of fear of the operation or because they have heard stories from friends which disturb them.
The sort of comments people make which lead them to have cataract surgery include:
Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens.
Cataract surgery is used to treat the clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye (cataract).
Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.
Cataract surgery is performed to treat cataracts. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery. When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended. For example, doctors may recommend cataract surgery if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
In most cases, waiting to have cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever. When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:
Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully. Cataract surgery risks include:
Your risk of complications is greater if you have another eye disease or a serious medical condition affecting any part of your body. Occasionally, cataract surgery fails to improve vision because of underlying eye damage from other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If possible, it may be beneficial to evaluate and treat other eye problems before making the decision to have cataract surgery.
To prepare for your cataract surgery, you may be asked to:
Understanding cataract surgery will help you feel more confident about your decision. Here are some facts about cataract surgery:
Cataract surgery, usually an outpatient procedure, takes an hour or less to perform.
First, your doctor will place eyedrops in your eye to dilate your pupil. You'll receive eye drops to numb the area, and you may be given a sedative to help you relax.
During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed, and a clear artificial lens is usually implanted. In some cases, however, a cataract may be removed without implanting an artificial lens.
Surgical methods used to remove cataracts include:
This implant, known as an intraocular lens (IOL), is made of plastic, acrylic or silicone. You won't be able to see or feel the lens. It requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye.
A variety of IOLs with different features are available. Some IOLs are rigid plastic and implanted through an incision that requires several stitches (sutures) to close.
However, many IOLs are flexible, allowing a smaller incision that requires few or no stitches. The surgeon folds this type of lens and inserts it into the empty capsule where the natural lens used to be. Once inside the eye, the folded IOL unfolds, filling the empty capsule.
Some types of IOLs block ultraviolet light. Some types of IOLs work like bifocals to provide both near and distant vision. Others provide only distant or near vision. For some people, a lens can be chosen to provide distant vision for one eye and near vision for the other eye.
Discuss the benefits and risks of the different types of IOLs with your eye surgeon to determine what's best for you.
After cataract surgery, expect your vision to begin improving within a few days. Your vision may be blurry at first as your eye heals and adjusts.
You'll usually see your eye doctor a day or two after your surgery, the following week, and then again after about a month to monitor healing.
It's normal to feel itching and mild discomfort for a couple of days after surgery. Avoid rubbing or pushing on your eye. Your doctor may ask you to wear an eye patch or protective shield the day of surgery. Your doctor may also recommend wearing the eye patch for a few days after your surgery and the protective shield when you sleep during the recovery period.
Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops or other medication to prevent infection, reduce inflammation and control eye pressure. After a couple of days, most of the discomfort should disappear. Often, complete healing occurs within eight weeks.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
Most people need glasses, at least some of the time, after cataract surgery. Your doctor will let you know when your eyes have healed enough for you to get a final prescription for eyeglasses.
If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor usually schedules a second surgery a month or two later to remove the cataract in your other eye. This allows time for the first eye to heal before the second eye surgery takes place.
Patients with cataracts and pre-existing cornea astigmatism are candidates for a toric aspheric IOL. When a patient with astigmatism has cataract surgery with a traditional monofocal intraocular lens, they will still have blur and distortion when they are not wearing their glasses due to their astigmatism. Toric iols can provide clear uncorrected distance vision. Currently, toric iols do not correct for presbyopia, so glasses will still be needed for close work.
The artificial lenss implanted in the eye during cataract surgery, known as intraocular lenss (IOLs), were once only able to correct distance vision, leaving patients dependent on eyeglasses for near vision. New advances in technology have allowed for the development of specialized, premium IOLs. With premium IOL implantation, many patients are able to eliminate or significantly reduce their dependence on eyeglasses after surgery.
There are several different types of premium lens implants available for cataract patients. Currently, the lenss we offer are TECNIS® multifocal, ReSTOR® multifocal and Cyrstalens® accommodating IOL. Each lens offers its own advantages and we would be happy to discuss these options during your visit