Anyone looking at the possibility of eye cataract surgery will want to know as much about it as possible. It is wise to start with the basics, so here are three things you ought to learn about the process.
When Is Cataract Surgery Necessary?
Cataracts can appear at any time in a person's life, and there are even babies born with the issue. However, cataracts are most strongly correlated with aging. A majority of Americans will have either developed the problem or been through eye cataract surgery when they get older. Cataracts develop because of a host of environmental factors, including UV ray exposure, living at high altitudes, and eye injuries. Some people with diabetes or some genetic factors may develop cataracts, too.
Not all cataracts require surgery. However, there is no alternative solution if an eye doctor says a cataract is reducing your vision.
How Does the Surgery Work?
Doctors put a lot of preparatory work into eye cataract surgery. Using ultrasound equipment, the doctor will measure your eye. This provides data that allows the doctor to order an artificial lens. The artificial lens will replace your natural one because that's where the cloudiness is if a cataract is inhibiting your vision.
Typically, cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. You will most likely be able to go to the surgeon's office and get home the same day. The procedure does require a sedative, though, to keep the eye from moving around during the surgery. Also, the doctor will administer an eye drop to open your pupil.
Using a precise surgical tool, the doctor will remove the affected portion of the eye lens. Afterward, the surgeon will make a small incision to minimize how many stitches are needed. The artificial lens goes through the incision point, unfolds, and seats in place. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the placement of the new lens, they will stitch the incision and end the procedure.
In most cases, eye cataract surgery takes around an hour. A doctor may schedule two separate surgeries if they're concerned about both eyes.
Before you leave the surgeon's office, the doctor will call in prescriptions to control any potential infections or swelling. They will give you sunglasses to protect your eye and a shield to avoid injuring the eye while you sleep.
On the day after the surgery, you will have an appointment with your ophthalmologist. As long as there aren't any problems, they'll schedule follow-up appointments for the next several weeks to continue monitoring the eye's progress. For more information on eye cataract surgery, contact a professional near you.