Cataract surgery to improve vision is an option for many. A cataract is not as some think a film which grows over the lens of the eye but a thickening of the lens. Cataracts can eventually lead to loss of vision and is the main cause of blindness in those over 55. However, it can be treated successfully with surgery.
Some of the symptoms are: poor night vision, blurred vision, sensitivity of light. It’s possible that you may not realize you have a cataract problem as this condition occurs very gradually. In most cases cataracts are acquired but in rare cases you are born with congenital cataracts. Some factors that cause ‘acquired’ cataracts are being exposed to ultraviolet light, diseases such as diabetes, some types of glaucoma, toxins, the lens becoming less resilient as one ages as well as trauma to the eye.
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, you may wonder whether you should consider cataract surgery. You may be able to put the surgery off for awhile if you have good eye sight. You should evaluate how well you are getting along in performing normal visual functions you may determine to have this operation done. Current treatment for other eye problems you are having could impact your decision.
The procedure for cataract surgery is to remove the natural lens that has become clouded and replace it with an IOL (intraocular lens). This can be done on an outpatient basis and lasts less than an hour. Usually eye drops are used to dilate your pupil and local anesthesia is administered. Sometimes a sedative is given to help you relax rarely is it necessary to give you a general anesthetic. Many can get back to their normal activities in a day or so. There is a very good success rate for this type of surgery. Your vision can be improved in all fields of vision – near, mid-range and distance. Of course if you do have other eye problems such as, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration or glaucoma it may have limited success.
Complications from this operation are very rare. There are always possible risks when it comes to any surgical procedure but they are rare. Your doctor will instruct you about cleaning your eyelids, using eye drops, wearing a patch and to contact him if you experience unusual problems. Usually any mild discomfort subsides in a day or so.
Cataract surgery to improve vision is not the same as LASIK surgery. See our articles on other eye surgeries such as, Laser Surgery for the Eyes and ‘Blepharplasty’.