Cataracts are an almost inevitable feature of aging. Although they generally do not affect vision until after age 60, they can occur earlier.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light reaching the retina. The cataract will cause symptoms such as cloudy or blurry vision, sensitivity to light and glare, especially in bright sunlight or while driving at night.
The only medical treatment available for cataracts is the surgical removal of the clouded lens. Cataracts are removed on an outpatient basis, and there is generally no discomfort and a speedy recovery of vision.
Procedures today are performed using phacoemulsification through a small self sealing incision so sutures are not needed. The eye is completely numbed using eye drops, eliminating the need for a painful needle injection. To compensate for the removal of the lens of the eye, an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the eye. The new technology multifocal and accommodating intraocular lenses restore clear distance and near vision, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses after cataract surgery. New technology toric IOLs correct astigmatism giving clearer vision.
With no-stitch surgery, many patients can see clearly soon after the surgery. With eye drop anesthesia, the eye is not patched and it is possible to resume most daily activities within a day or two.
After Cataract Surgery
Most patients are concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. Our doctors provide the best quality care and thoroughly explain what you can expect after cataract surgery. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear. Complete visual recovery varies from patient to patient but most patients return to their every day activities within a day or two. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second procedure will most likely be scheduled within a week or two. Your doctor will schedule exams to check on your progress. Each person heals differently so it is important to discuss the cataract surgery recovery with your eye doctor.
For a few days after surgery, your doctor may ask you to use eye drops to help healing and decrease the risk of infection. Ask your cataract eye doctor about how to use your eye drops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye. Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.
Serious complications are extremely rare but because it is a form of surgery, there are some potential risks involved. Our staff and cataract surgeons will provide you with additional information about the risks associated with cataract surgery and answer any of the questions you may have.