If you suffer from cataracts, you know how difficult they can make your life. They slowly cloud and distort your vision, and only seem to get worse. Know that you are not alone. In fact, cataracts naturally occur in everyone, and they are simply a result of getting older. Some factors may increase the risk of getting cataracts, such as genetics, smoking, previous eye injury, sun damage, and uncontrolled diabetes. The good news is, there is an answer! Cataract surgery has never been safer and more effective than it is today.
Before the Procedure
As with most planned surgeries, you will need to go through a consultation to make sure cataract surgery is right for you. During this consultation, your doctor will make sure your eyes are healthy enough for surgery. Your doctor will also discuss IOL options with you. There are several different types of IOLs to choose from, including monofocal (which allow you to see clearly at one distance), multifocal (allowing you to see clearly at multiple distances), and accommodating IOLs (which can help with presbyopia).
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
On the day of your surgery, expect to be at our office for about an hour and a half. You will be in surgery only about 15-20 minutes of this time. Before the surgery, you will have the option to take a mild sedative and your doctor will go over proper aftercare procedures. You will go home shortly after your procedure after a brief resting period. For safety reasons, each eye is done separately, at least one week apart. Depending on circumstances, however, it could be up to 4 weeks between surgeries.
First, your eye will be numbed and an incision will be created on the side of the cornea. Next, your natural, cloudy lens will be removed after being broken up with an ultrasonic device or a laser. Once the cataract is removed, the natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an IOL, or intraocular lens. The IOL is fitted behind the iris, right where your natural lens used to be. Once the IOL is properly positioned, the surgery is over! There are usually no stitches needed, as the cornea is self-healing.
Following the procedure, you will be unable to drive yourself home, so you should arrange a ride home. Use the medicated eye drops prescribed to you as directed. Be sure to wear the special sunglasses given to you to protect your sensitive eyes from UV damage. Avoid anything that will put your eyes at risk for the first week of recovery, including sports, swimming, hot baths, excessive bending or stretching, and exposing your eyes to a dusty or windy environment.
Curious about cataract surgery? Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers are here to help you restore your vision! Come see us in Louisville and Jeffersonville, Kentucky.