If you feel that your vision is getting blurred, as if you were looking through a fogged-up window, there is a chance you have developed cataracts. This corresponds to the loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye, which makes it difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks, such as reading, watching a screen, or driving a car (especially at night).
It should be noted that most cataracts develop slowly and do not alter vision in the early stages. However, over time, they will eventually interfere with vision and you may need surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe and effective procedure; yet, there are certain things you need to know before making the decision to undergo surgery.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
In this procedure, the opacified lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, which is permanently implanted in the same place as the natural lens to restore clear vision.
The operation is usually performed on an outpatient basis, where the eye surgeon uses local anesthesia to numb the eye area, with the patient usually being awake during the procedure. After the surgery, you might feel local mild discomfort for a few days. Complete healing usually occurs within a couple of months. Most patients report that their cataract surgery was quicker and easier than expected.
If cataract surgery has to be performed in both eyes, the doctor will schedule cataract removal in the second eye, usually within a few weeks from the first.
What are the Risks of Cataract Surgery?
There are risks with every surgery. Complications after cataract surgery are very rare and can be treated successfully in most cases. However, there are always risks, including but not limited to:
- Eyelid drooping.
- Dislocation of the artificial lens.
- Retinal detachment.
- Secondary cataract.
- Loss of vision.
You can discuss these risks with your doctor during a consultation.
What to Expect After Surgery?
As with any other surgery, some doctor’s recommendations have to be followed both immediately and in the long run. These may include:
- Use medicated eye drops prescribed by your ophthalmologist after surgery.
- Avoid getting soap or water directly into the eye.
- Do not rub or press on the eye.
- Wear post-operative sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunlight and other bright lights.
- Your ophthalmologist may ask you to wear glasses or a shield over your eye.
- Wear a protective eye shield while sleeping.
- Your ophthalmologist will tell you when you can be active again and at what level immediately after surgery.
- Keep in mind that most people, after this surgery, may need some type of optical lenses, either permanent, occasional, or reading only.
Cataract surgery requires planning for what happens before and after. If you are experiencing vision changes or are considering cataract surgery, contact us today to schedule a cataract consultation in Orange County.