If you are over the age of 40 and noticing your vision is beginning to fade, cataracts could very well be the issue. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, but the removal of them is incredibly safe.
Cataract surgery has a success rate of over 96% with millions of patients who have had the surgery. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery!
What happens when I have a cataract?
If you have a cataract, it’s usually noticeable with cloudy or blurry vision. They are common and something that almost everyone will get.
Not everyone who has a cataract needs cataract surgery. The only way to know for sure if you need surgery is to have a cataract screening.
At a cataract screening, the size and progress of your cataract are taken into account. You can live with cataracts for a long time and not even notice they are there.
Most doctors will wait until vision is actually impeded to go ahead with the procedure. If you have cataracts, you should be checking in with your eye doctor so they can assess if you need surgery.
How it works
Cataract surgery involves a lot more than removing cataracts from your eyes. Cataracts affect the lens of your eyes, causing proteins inside of them to clump together.
This means that the entire lens must be fully removed. Without a lens, you would not be able to see, so it is replaced with a device called an intraocular lens, or IOL for short.
IOLs are small, artificial lenses made from silicone and acrylic. They come in many different varieties, each with unique capabilities.
Premium IOLs can even give you better vision than you’ve ever had. They can even get rid of your need for glasses altogether!
Monofocal IOLs are the standard option. They only allow you to focus at one range and you will need glasses to help you see at the uncorrected distance.
Multifocal IOLs work like permanent bifocals that are inside of your eyes. Using focal zones, they allow you to see at near and far distances.
Accommodating IOLs also do this, but by moving inside of your eyes. They do this by mimicking the natural lens movement.
This makes transitions between focal ranges smoother. Toric IOLs correct for astigmatism. They need very specific placement to line up with your corneas irregularities.
What happens during cataract surgery?
To remove the lens, the surgeon opens up your cornea. Then, they break apart the lens using phacoemulsification.
After breaking apart the lens, they use suction to remove the lens and place the IOL in the empty space. This is under the influence of numbing eye drops, so there’s no pain.
After opening the cornea, it is then left connected by a small amount of tissue.
Recovery from cataract surgery can take a few months to fully complete. You will be able to perform most of your daily activities within a few weeks.
Ready to find out if you need cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA today!