Cataracts are a natural fact of aging. Fortunately, with surgery, the cloudy lens can be removed and replaced with one that will help patients see clearly for the rest of their lives. In fact, some of the newer intraocular lenses allow people with cataracts to see even without glasses. Although this is the most commonly performed surgery in America, it’s only natural to have some questions before going in for the procedure. These are five answers everyone should know about cataracts, the surgery, and recovery.
- How will cataracts affect my life?
A cataract in one or both eyes can make vision blurry. In the early stages, a stronger prescription may make it possible to see more clearly. However, as the condition progresses, halos around lights can make night driving very difficult, if not impossible. Eventually, if cataracts are not removed, your vision will get worse.
- When do I need to have surgery?
Surgery is not necessary unless the cataract is causing a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. When it is difficult to see at night, even with glasses, or when the prescription needs to be adjusted frequently to help a person see, it’s time to talk to a surgeon like Dr. Goosey in Houston about removal.
- What are the different types of intraocular lenses?
Most people choose monofocal IOLs. These lenses are able to focus at one distance—either near, far, or mid-range. Depending on the activity they are doing, most people need some kind of glasses with these IOLs. These are the least expensive option and most likely to be covered by insurance. They may be mixed to give patients a better result.
Multifocal lenses are able to focus similarly to a natural lens. They are more expensive than monofocal lenses but most people who opt for them are able to see at all distances without glasses. People who have astigmatism can see clearly after surgery by getting toric lenses. They are also available in monofocal or multifocal varieties.
- What can I expect before and during surgery?
Patients can expect to have a thorough eye exam to help the surgeon select the right prescription for their IOL. They will also be prescribed several eye drops that they will use before and after the cataract surgery. It’s important to use them exactly as directed to avoid infection or other eye problems following the procedure. Patients are usually given some type of medication at the surgery center to help them relax during the procedure. The actual surgery can take as little as 15 minutes. Patients generally wait in the recovery area for about 30 minutes while they wake up completely and receive home-care instructions. Patients cannot drive themselves home after surgery.
- What do I need to avoid during recovery?
There are a few things a patient should avoid after cataract surgery recovery. These include:
- Rubbing or bumping the eye. Many doctors recommend sleeping with an eye protector for the first few days.
- Bending at the waist.
- Lifting over 10 pounds.
Patients can expect to see their doctor soon after the procedure. When both eyes have cataracts, the second surgery may be scheduled after the first one heals. After the recovery period, and depending on the type of IOL used, the patient may be evaluated for new eyeglasses.
If you suspect cataracts, don’t wait; contact Houston’s Premier Eye Surgeon- Dr. John Goosey, and schedule an appointment today! Click Here to get started.