Understanding Cataract Surgery
The development of a cataract is part of the natural aging process. There are some factors that may increase the early development of a cataract, but sooner or later this is a vision issue that most people have to deal with. As you may have learned from our page defining a cataract, a cataract is a clouding of the eyes natural lens to a point where vision is not clear. In today’s modern world of medical technology cataract surgery is no longer something to fear, in fact it is actually something to look forward to, like a new opportunity.
A Cataract Will Affect Your Vision:
Protein deposits get clumpy inside your eye and when this protein starts to clump up, the natural lens of the eye get cloudy and actually limits the amount of light that can reach the retina, (back of the eye, where images are processed). This cloudiness will eventually become significant enough to obstruct vision. As a cataract develops a patient’s vision get duller, less colorful and cloudy. It happens slowly so many people do not notice this right away.
Signals That You May Have a Cataract:
- Difficulty driving at night
- Colors start to fade toward brown
- Natural lens starts to get a yellowish color
- Vision gets cloudy like looking through wax paper
- Halos around lights
- The need for brighter lights and light sensitivity
- Double vision episodes
Cataract Surgery Explanation
Many cataract patients are often alarmed at the thought of surgery. At Valley Eye Institute you can rest assured that only the safest and best eye surgery methods will be practiced. You can read through all of the information in our website cataract center so that you are better informed before the surgical process. Learn more
What to Expect on Surgery Day
You will arrive at the surgery center in Sidney, Ohio about an hour prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you will be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eye will be cleaned and a sterile drape applied.
Eyedrops will be used to anesthetize your eye. An eyelid holder or lid speculum is then placed to keep you from blinking. Every effort is made to ensure patient comfort during the procedure.
A small puncture of 2.5 to 3 millimeters in length is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear domed structure on the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye).
Another dose of anesthetic is then administered inside the eye through this incision. The front part of the lens envelope, know as the lens capsule, is carefully opened allowing access for removal of the cataract. This is accomplished using a needle-like ultrasonic device, which pulverizes the hardened and yellowed lens proteins. The pulverized material is simultaneously vacuumed from the eye. This process is called phacoemulsification.
Once all of the cataract material has been removed, a folded intraocular lens specifically chosen by the surgeon to suit your individual needs is then inserted through the original incision and maneuvered into the lens capsule and then centered. Most intraocular lenses are either made of acrylic or silicone. The lens will remain inside your eye in this location without moving. Intraocular lenses cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient.
The small incision is “self-sealing” and usually requires no stitches. The incision remains tightly closed by the natural outward pressure within the eye. This type of incision heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation. Recovery from surgery is generally very quick, with most patients achieving noticeably better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Patients are generally asked to use three different eye medications, administered as drops four times daily for the first few weeks after surgery. It is important that during the first 7 post-operative days patients refrain from strenuous activity such as lifting weights for exercise or lifting other heavy objects. Patients should also refrain from eye rubbing during the first few weeks following surgery.
What Happens After Surgery
Watering and foreign body sensation are normal after cataract surgery. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, moderate discomfort should disappear. For a week after surgery, your doctor will ask you to use eyedrops to help the healing process, decrease inflammation and swelling, and reduce the risk of infection. Eye shield at bedtime for a couple of nights to help protect your eye. Ask your doctor about how to use your eyedrops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye.
Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye. When you are home, try not to bend from the waist to pick up objects on the floor. Do not lift any heavy objects. You can walk, climb stairs, and do light household chores. In most cases, healing will be complete within four weeks. Your doctor will schedule exams to check on your progress. It is imperative that you adhere to all post-operative medication schedules and keep all appointments if possible. This gives us the best chance of ensuring a successful outcome for you.
If you are seeking cataract surgery in Ohio the eye doctors at the Valley Eye Institute can get you on the path to seeing better and seeing possibly without your previous level of dependency on glasses. For more information regarding the modern intraocular lens implants used by the doctors at Valley Eye Institute please see our page on premium lens implants including the multifocal IOL lens known as AcrySofReSTOR®.