If you have cataracts, you may be unsure what to expect when it comes to cataract surgery. What’s the deal?
How long is the procedure? What exactly is the procedure?
What’s the recovery process like? How do you know if you need cataract surgery? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more!
How to Tell if You Need Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are a clouding on the lens of your eye. This clouding can distort, limit, or impair your vision.
Looking through a clouded lens is like looking through a foggy window. It can distort your vision so that you can no longer recognize your common surroundings.
You will need cataract surgery when your vision becomes so distorted that you can no longer complete your daily activities.
Cataracts can limit your ability to see at night. You may experience halos around lights. This can include house lights and headlights, making it dangerous to drive at night.
You will need cataract surgery when you can no longer get around safely at night. Stop driving if you reach this point as it’s unsafe for you and others on the road.
Cataracts can also cause vision loss. This is not only cloudy vision but rather actual blinding in part or all your eye.
This vision loss may be gradual, but it can also come on suddenly.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure. You will be in and out in under an hour, though it may take longer before you can go home.
Many cataract surgeries take less than 30 minutes. You will not need to be put to sleep by anesthesia. Instead, you’ll have your eyes numbed using eye drops.
If you’re nervous, you’ll receive Valium or anti-anxiety medication to calm you down. Then you will lie awake, with your eyes open during the surgery.
During the surgery, your doctor will make an incision in the lens of your eye. Your doctor will break up and remove the cataract through this incision. Your doctor will then replace your natural lens with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL).
You have a few decisions to make when you schedule your cataract surgery.
You’ll need to choose what kind of IOL will replace your natural lens. There are many kinds, but they are usually grouped into standard (monofocal) IOLs and premium IOLs.
With a standard, monofocal IOL, you’ll still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. This kind of IOL only corrects vision at one fixed distance. You’ll need to wear glasses to see at other distances.
With premium IOLs, you will most likely no longer need glasses or contacts after cataract surgery. You may no longer even need reading glasses! For patients with astigmatism, toric IOLs correct this refractive error and correct other refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Cataract Surgery Recovery
Like any surgical procedure, The recovery process for cataract surgery is a necessary part. For the best results, you’ll want to take it easy and limit yourself to light activity after having cataract surgery.
Your vision will be blurry for the first few days. Your doctor will likely prescribe you some eye drops to reduce any pain you may have.
Your vision will clear up after a few days. Your eye doctor will let you know when you can get back to your regular activities.
It usually takes patients about 8 weeks to fully recover after cataract surgery. It’s worth it though because you’ll finally have clear vision!
Worried about cataracts? Schedule a cataract screening with Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA today!