Riverside Eye – Cataract Surgery
With age comes a lot of change. This is evident in our lives and especially our bodies. You may not be surprised to hear that your eyes are one of the first parts of your body to start changing with age. Luckily, most of these unavoidable changes have solutions. This includes cataracts.
What is a Cataract?
Behind your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye), there is a clear, flexible lens that serves a couple of purposes. The first is that it focuses light onto the retina, and the second is that it allows light to enter your eye uninhibited.
A cataract occurs when the proteins that make up most of this clear lens start to clump together. These protein clumps cause the lens to become cloudy and discolored. As the lens gets cloudier, less light is able to get into the eye, eventually causing blindness.
The exact cause of cataracts is unknown. We do know that age and lifestyle have something to do with it. Smoking and drinking can make you more likely to develop cataracts. Accidents and injuries to the eye have also been known to cause cataracts.
What are the Symptoms?
Early stage cataracts often do not have any symptoms. Moderate cataracts do not cause pain and do not present many symptoms other than blurry vision. You may also experience discolored vision (often a yellowish tint), distorted vision, reduced night vision, glare, and haloes.
Cataracts are usually diagnosed early on during a yearly eye examination. There is nothing that can be done in the early stages of cataracts, although they can be operated on at any time. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to slow progress and prolong the need for surgery, but this is not proven to work.
Cataracts are only treatable through cataract surgery. Many people claim to have a natural or medical “cure” for cataracts that negate the need for surgery, but this simply is not true.
Cataract surgery may sound scary, but it is actually an extremely safe and routine procedure. Patients often experience post-surgery vision that is better than their vision has been their whole lives!
During cataract surgery, your natural, cataract-affected lens is replaced with a device called an IOL (intraocular lens.) There are many different types of IOLs, each with their own refractive power. There are IOLs to correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and even presbyopia!
The Cataract Removal Procedure
Before your doctor will schedule your surgery, your doctor will recommend an IOL for you based on your needs and lifestyle. Once the IOL is chosen and you are cleared for surgery, you can schedule your cataract removal procedure!
To begin, your cataract surgeon will numb your eyes and gently place a lid speculum to keep your eyelids open. Then, they will create a series of small incisions in the cornea. Through these incisions, your surgeon will remove the cataract-affected lens and insert the new lens. Once the IOL is positioned correctly, your surgery is over!
After cataract surgery, most people notice an immediate improvement in vision. However, it is normal for your vision to fluctuate for several weeks as your eyes adjust to the new lenses.
You should be able to go back to work the following day or within the first week. You can return to most every day activities within a few days. You should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for a while after surgery.
Be sure to follow all after care instructions and use your medications as directed to avoid infection. Contact your doctor if you notice anything abnormal such as bleeding, redness or pain.
Are you interesting in getting rid of your cataracts? Contact Riverside Eye today to schedule your cataract consultation, and you’ll be well on your way to clear vision!