Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that should only put you out of action for a few days. The common eye condition affects half of the worlds’ population by age 80. People can start developing it around age 50. Symptoms can come on slow, which is why regular eye exams are necessary.
Who Needs Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are a condition of the eye that causes blurry vision and makes it increases the glare from lights, creating difficulties with regular activities, especially in the evening. As it interferes with daily living, your doctor will most likely recommend the surgery to correct the condition. It’s important to have cataracts treated to prevent blindness. Although aging causes cataracts, other factors can increase your chances of developing it earlier, such as alcohol use, diabetes, sun exposure, and smoking.
Additionally, during the procedure, your surgeon may adjust the monofocal IOLs to correct your reading vision. This might fix your vision enough to reduce eyeglass dependence. Along with improving eyesight, the surgery can reduce the rate of falls and improve confidence and social interactions.
An Overview of the Procedure
During cataract surgery, the surgeon dilates your eyes and numbs the area with a local anesthetic. Some patients receive a sedative to help them relax for the procedure. The surgeon uses several tools to break up the cloudy lens and remove the pieces. The back of the lens capsule is left intact to hold the new one in place. A clear artificial lens is then inserted into the empty area. There are some risks of inflammation, detached retina, and lens dislocation.
Recovering from Cataract Surgery
The procedure should only take an hour or less per eye. After an hour in the recovery area, you’ll be discharged to go home. You won’t be able to drive after, so bring someone to help you following the surgery. Aftercare at home includes prescription eye drops every few hours to prevent infections while your eye heals.
Additionally, you’ll need to keep water out of your eyes for at least two weeks, which is why your surgeon will ask you to avoid swimming and hot tubs following the surgery. Normal activities, including reading and watching television, are fine the day following the procedure. Patients need to avoid heavy lifting, jogging, and similar exercises for about a week. You’ll see your doctor a few days after the surgery and then again a week to ten days later to check on the healing and test your vision. If you experience vision loss, persistent pain, eyelid swelling, eye redness, or floaters, contact your surgeon immediately.
Cataract surgery is a common procedure that millions of people undergo every year. There are relatively few risks, and the results are worth a few days of discomfort while your eyes heal. If you have questions or concerns regarding your upcoming surgery, contact your eye care professional before the big day!