How do I know if I have a cataract?
Progressive blurring of vision after age 50 is often due to cataracts. Patients of any age, however, can develop cataracts. People with advanced cataracts often describe their vision as “looking through a piece of wax paper.” A cataract may make nighttime driving difficult due to glare from oncoming car headlights. Cataracts often make reading more difficult.
Is cataract surgery performed with a laser?
There is a common misconception that cataract surgery is performed with a laser. This is not the case. Laser cataract removal has been investigated over the last decade, and it has mostly been abandoned due to poor results.
Instead of a laser, cataract surgery is performed using high-frequency ultrasound. A probe with an ultrasonic needle and vacuum pulverizes and removes the cloudy lens material through a small incision.
Please click here to learn more about the cataract surgery procedure.
How long does cataract surgery take?
Typically, a cataract can be removed in less than an hour. Cataract surgery is normally performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or ambulatory surgery center.
Why do I need a new lens placed in my eye?
The intraocular lens placed at the time of surgery replaces the cloudy natural lens (cataract). The lens is necessary to allow a clear, focused image to reach the retina . Prior to surgery, your doctor will perform a complete evaluation of your eye to determine the best intraocular lens for your individual needs.
Will I be able to feel the new lens in my eye?
No. Intraocular lenses are not usually felt or sensed in any way by the patient. It remains inside the eye in a comfortable location.
How long will it be before I can see after cataract surgery?
Recovery from surgery is generally very rapid, with most patients achieving noticeably better vision within days of the procedure. Full recovery is generally expected three to four weeks after the surgery, and an assessment will be made at that time to determine if any corrective eyewear is needed.
What activities can I engage in after cataract surgery?
It is wise to avoid strenuous activity for the first week after surgery. Low-impact exercise and activities are permissible. Patients should also refrain from eye rubbing.
Will my vision be perfect after cataract surgery?
Modern cataract surgery has a success rate of better than 95%. All risks, however, cannot be totally eliminated. Fortunately, complications are rare and can be corrected in most instances. Glasses are sometimes required after surgery to achieve the best possible vision. Glasses are typically prescribed three to four weeks postoperatively. If both eyes are scheduled to have surgery within a few weeks of each other, glasses are usually prescribed following full recovery of the second eye.
How is no-stitch (modern) cataract surgery different than traditional cataract surgery?
Modern cataract surgery is efficient, painless, and does not usually require sutures. Its main advantage is the smaller incision through which the cataract is removed. This speeds up the recovery process and eliminates the nuisances of suture erosion and removal. Most cataract surgeries performed today do not require a suture.