Cataract Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

If you have been told you need cataract surgery, you no doubt have some concerns and questions. But keep in mind that cataract surgery, the most commonly performed surgical procedure, is one of the safest surgical procedures you can have, according to Johns Hopkins.

Cataracts affect nearly 21 million Americans over the age of 40, with more than six million Americans having had cataract surgery. We know you have questions, and we’re here to answer them.

Why Does a Cataract Form?

A cataract forms when the natural lens of your eye starts to get cloudy. This cloudiness is a result of protein breakdown in the lens that turns your vision less vibrant, hazy, and blurry. Aging is the top cause but other things can contribute to their formation, such as eye injuries, diabetes, medication, and family history. Those with cataracts will need cataract surgery to remove them.

Symptoms usually start pretty mild with some glares and halos in your field of vision. You may also find it hard to see at night, especially when driving. These symptoms come on so slowly that lots of people aren’t even aware of the changes. Once they progress, though, more rapid eye sight changes can occur to eyesight, such as pronounced light sensitivity, poor night vision, blurred vision, and difficulty detecting colors. If you neglect the symptoms and don’t get treated for cataracts, it will become harder to complete daily tasks and distinguish fine details such as signs and facial features.

Cataract surgery is typically recommended when this condition begins impacting your quality of life.

A Look at Traditional Cataract Surgery

Traditional cataract surgery is when the surgeon makes a small incision on the side of the cornea to take out the cataract-clouded lens. Once removed, an intraocular lens is inserted to replace the natural lens. The eye tissue that has been cut will heal naturally. While lasers can be used, we here at Broberg prefer traditional cataract surgery, which uses handheld instruments such as a blade and forceps to make the incisions and remove the lens. Studies do not show that laser surgery results in fewer complications, or provides better outcomes. Your outcome depends in large part on the skill and experience of your surgeon. As a result, both traditional and laser assisted cataract surgery options can be discussed with your doctor to determine their recommendation and preference.

Cataract Surgery: What to Expect

All it takes is between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, and the surgery can be done in an out-patient facility nearby. Your surgeon will apply a topical anesthetic to your eye for your comfort. Then, the surgeon uses ultrasonic energy to break the cataracts up, through the insertion of a small probe through the cornea. This allows small pieces to be removed from your eye, through the use of a gentle suction device.

Once the surgeon has successfully removed the cataract tissue, he or she will implant an intraocular lens (IOL), which will then become a permanent part of your eye. From astigmatism, to nearsightedness to farsightedness, there are various lenses designed to correct a variety of vision impairments. Your doctor will recommend the best kind of intraocular lens for your specific needs.

Recovery Time

The recovery time is quite short; however, you will have to appoint someone to bring you home afterwards because fatigue and grogginess are common. You’ll have to wear a protective shield over your eyes for 24 hours, and you may feel some irritation in your eyes, have slightly blurry vision, or see some halos or glare.

It’s best if you don’t watch TV or read the first day, but go ahead and resume your normal routine the next day. For a week post-surgery, you may experience light sensitivity or irritation, but those will go away. You’ll need to use special eye drops for a few days after cataract surgery, and return to the office for a follow-up appointment at a designated time.

Book Your Cataract Surgery Consultation With Broberg Eye Care Today

We welcome you to schedule an appointment for a cataract surgery consultation. Just give us a call at (512) 447-6096. We have convenient hours Monday through Friday, and are located at 4207 James Casey St #305 in Austin, TX. When you meet with your cataract surgeon, you will receive all the information you need on what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

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