Cataract surgery is something that most of us can expect to encounter as our eyes begin to age. The good news is that because it is such a common surgery, it is extremely quick and safe. Cataracts occur as we age and the lens of our eye becomes foggy, affecting the clarity of vision in that eye. To correct this, your eye doctor will remove the foggy lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens that becomes a permanent part of your eye.
Before your cataract surgery you will have a consultation with your eye doctor. This appointment will include a full eye exam to ensure that there will be no unforeseen complications to your surgery. Additionally, your doctor may ask about any medications that you take, as these can sometimes lead to complications as well.
The surgery itself takes around fifteen minutes. You will be in and out of the eye doctor’s office in under an hour and a half – there is no need to stay overnight in the hospital with this type of surgery. You will just need to spend a bit of time in the office recovering before you are ready to head home.
Your eye doctor will either perform the surgery with an ultrasound probe, which is more common, or a larger incision and surgical tools. The doctor will create a small incision in your eye, and either use surgical tools or the probe to remove the cloudy lens. The probe is able to break up the lens and suck it out without the need for additional tools. Once your cloudy lens is removed, a new artificial lens is inserted and attached where your old lens was.
If you need cataract surgery in both eyes you will generally have to have them done a few weeks apart from each other to allow time for healing.
You will recover for about half an hour to an hour at the doctor’s office. It is required that someone else drive you home after your surgery.
You will be prescribed eye drops that will help your eye in healing more quickly, as well as a protective shield to wear while sleeping. You may experience blurry vision at first, but as your eye adjusts to its new lens your vision will start to improve.
It is recommended that you avoid any strenuous activity for a couple of weeks after your surgery to allow your eye to heal completely.
You will have a follow up appointment with your doctor the day after your surgery to check that there are no complications and that everything is healing up as it should.
There are very low chances of any complications developing, so if all is normal you will be on your way to clearer vision in no time!