FAQs About Cataract Surgery

A cataract forms when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, caused by the breakdown of proteins in your lens that make things look hazy, blurry, or less vibrant. Aging is the top cause of cataracts, but diabetes, medication, eye injuries, and family history can all play a part as well. If you have cataracts, you may need cataract surgery to remove them.

Here we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions we hear in our office. Feel free to give us a call if you don’t see your question answered here.

Q: How do I know I need cataract surgery?

A: You may first start off with early symptoms of cataracts, which include seeing glares and halos, or having difficulty seeing at night. These initial symptoms often develop so slowly that many people don’t even know the changes are happening. As cataracts progress, severe changes can start happening to your eyesight, such as poor night vision, blurred vision, difficulty detecting colors, and pronounced light sensitivity. Without treatment, you may start to have trouble completing daily tasks and distinguishing details like facial features or road signs.

When this condition begins to affect your quality of life, your eye doctor will likely recommend cataract surgery after performing an exam.

Q: What can I expect during cataract surgery?

A: Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes just about 10 minutes to complete. A topical anesthetic is applied to your eye to keep you comfortable. We then use ultrasonic energy to break up your cataracts, which involves inserting a small probe through a small incision in the cornea. Those small pieces can then be removed from your eye with a gentle suction device.

Cataract surgery is typically performed on only one eye at a time. There is usually a 2-4 week lapse between the first eye and second eye surgeries.

After the cataract tissue has been removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) will be implanted and will become a permanent part of your eye. There are all different types of lenses to correct various vision impairments, such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Your doctor will discuss the best type of intraocular lens for you.

Q: What is the recovery time?

A: You will need to have someone drive you home after cataract surgery. You may want to rest when you get home, as the surgery may make you feel tired or groggy. You will be given a protective shield to wear over your eyes for the first day and night. During that time, your eyes may feel a bit irritated, you may have slightly blurry vision, and you may see halos or glare. Try not to read or watch television that first day, but you can resume normal activity the next day.

For a week after surgery, it’s common to have some light sensitivity or irritation, but this should go away. You will be prescribed special eye drops to apply in the days following cataract surgery. We typically have patients come see us for follow-up appointments the next day and a week later to ensure recovery is going well.

Q: How much will cataract surgery cost me?

A: Cost can fluctuate considerably. Factors that will affect your price tag include:

Type of anesthesia used. Most people get local anesthesia, but others may undergo general anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or oral sedation, all of which have an additional cost.
Type of IOL. For example, a simple monofocal IOL is less expensive than advanced lenses such as toric or multifocal IOLs.
Your Insurance. Your insurance may cover all or a part of your surgery.

Book Your Cataract Surgery Consultation with Broberg Eye Care

To schedule an appointment for a cataract surgery consultation, 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. We would be happy to discuss any other questions you may have about cataract surgery when you meet with our cataract surgeons.

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