Do you have cataracts? If you do, the only way to see clearly again is to have them removed during cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is an extremely common procedure. Because of how often it’s performed, there are few risks and patients experience a high success rate.
But how does it work and what happens once you’ve had your cataracts removed? It’s all a part of the procedure. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery!
Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that you don’t need general anesthesia for. The surgeon simply numbs the eye with eye drops.
After numbing the eye, they’ll then make a small incision through the cornea. Through that incision, they use a special instrument to break apart your eye’s natural lens.
By breaking apart the natural lens, the cataract that’s formed is also removed. The lens fragments are then sucked out through the incision.
Finally, an artificial lens called an IOL is inserted through the incision and folded up so it can fit through. Once in the eye, it unfurls and takes the place of your natural lens. This is what allows you to see clearly after cataract surgery.
Because of the size of the incision, you won’t need any stitches and it will heal up on its own. The procedure is also an outpatient surgery, meaning you’ll go home the same day. The whole procedure is over after about thirty minutes.
What is an IOL?
An IOL, or intraocular lens, is an artificial lens that replaces a natural lens after removing it during cataract surgery. In the past, cataract surgery patients would have the natural lens removed without anything to replace it.
They would then have to wear very thick glasses to see. But with modern technology, you can now see even better after cataract surgery than you could before cataracts.
There are different kinds of IOLs. The standard option is called a monofocal lens, which is a uniform lens set to a single refractive power.
When one monofocal lens set to see up close is put in one eye and another lens is then set to see at a distance is put in the other, this is called monovision. It allows the patient to see decently at an intermediate distance, but they may still need reading glasses to see up-close.
Other kinds of IOLs are considered premium lenses. These aren’t usually covered by insurance like monofocal IOLs.
But premium IOLs can help you see better without the aid of glasses. They come in several varieties, including multifocal and trifocal lenses. There’s even a toric lens designed to correct astigmatism.
It’s up to you what kind of IOL you get during cataract surgery. Your eye doctor can help you choose based on what your needs are.
Be sure to talk to your surgeon about what options are available and what might be best for you.
After you have cataract surgery, there is a recovery period. If you have cataracts in both eyes, you won’t have surgery on them at the same time.
Instead, you’ll have surgery on the worse eye first. After about eight weeks, you’ll then have cataract surgery on the second eye. Recovery can be slightly uncomfortable, but as long as you follow the instructions, your discomfort shouldn’t last for too long.
You also should be careful about doing anything too strenuous for at least a couple of weeks after surgery. The main thing to remember after cataract surgery is you should rest and relax.
As long as you take care of your eyes while you’re recovering, you should heal up just fine! This will allow you to finally experience clear vision after cataract surgery and a whole new way of seeing.
Ready to learn more about cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Levin Eyecare in Baltimore, MD!