A cataract is the clouding effect of a person’s natural eye lens. These natural lenses work much like a camera, making it possible for us to focus on objects and process what we’re seeing. When cataracts form, the eye’s ability to focus is diminished.
Cataracts are incredibly common. This is a condition that affects nearly half of all Americans by the age of 65. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then cataract surgery may be for an option for you.
If you have a cataract that is interfering with your normal routine or daily activities, we recommend having cataract surgery. This is an extremely safe procedure that can correct distance vision and astigmatism by removing your cataract and replacing it with a modern lens.
Cataract surgery is a simple procedure with an excellent success record. The clouded natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). It is done on an outpatient basis with a topical anesthetic that will make it a painless procedure. One eye is done at a time, with a short healing period in between.
After making a very small incision outside your field of vision, your eye surgeon will insert a tiny probe and use ultrasound to break up the clouded natural lens. With suction, the pieces are easily removed, and through the same incision, the IOL is inserted and positioned correctly. You may have a protective shield to wear while you sleep for a short time, and your eye surgeon will prescribe eye drops to be used several times each day for several weeks. For best results, it is very important that you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions exactly.
In general, the actual cataract surgery will take approximately 10-15 minutes. You should experience no pain before, during, or after your surgery.
During your recovery period after cataract surgery, taking precautions and administering all medications according to your doctor’s instructions will lead to a quicker recovery. The typical cataract surgery patient should return to normal activities within a day or two.
Patients that are having their cataracts removed are asked to wear a patch for approximately 6 hours post-operation and a plastic shield to bed temporarily to cover and protect the operated eye. You will also be asked to use eye drops after surgery.
By following these recommendations and your doctor’s instructions after cataract surgery, you will soon be able to return to activities that might have been previously limited or halted due to poor eyesight. If you or someone you know is considering cataract surgery, Southern Eye Group of Alabama surgeons are ready to help. Schedule an appointment today at one of our three locations.