Vision Problems with Cataracts
Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract
How do I know if I have a Cataract? Here are some common symptoms of Cataracts?
- Having blurry vision
- Seeing double (when you see two images instead of one)
- Being extra sensitive to light
- Having trouble seeing well at night, or needing more light when you read
- Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead
What Causes Cataracts?
While there are unique causes for each patient, aging is usually the most common cause of cataracts. This is due to normal eye changes that happen starting around the age of 40, when normal proteins in the lens start to break down, and cause the lens to get cloudy. However, vision problems may not happen until years later. Eye injuries, diabetics, UV sun damage and certain medications can make cataracts to appear sooner than later in some patients.
Cataract surgery is an operation to remove our eye’s lens when it is cloudy. The only way to remove a cataract is with surgery.
While each patient is unique, some patients will require additional treatment before obtaining required measurements for Cataract Surgery. Measurements will be taken to determine the proper focusing power for your IOL (Intraocular Lens). Also, you will be asked about any medicines you take. You might be asked not to take some of your medicines before surgery. You may also be prescribed eyedrop medications to start taking before surgery. Those medications will help prevent infection and reduce swelling during and after surgery.
The day of surgery:
No eating or drinking after midnight.
Cataract surgery is done in an outpatient surgery surgery center or in a hospital setting.
During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.
- You will be prescribed eye drops to use after surgery. Make sure to follow the instructions of the drops carefully to ensure proper healing.
- Make sure to avoid getting water or soap in the operation eye.
- Never rub or press on the eye.
- The doctor will provide you with a protective shield to use when sleeping.
- Activities after surgery will be limited. Before resuming any normal activities like driving or exercising, you should consult with your surgeon and/or surgical staff.
While a relatively safe procedure, as with any surgery, there are always risks of problems or complications. Here are some of the common risks associated with Cataract Surgery:
- Eye infection
- Bleeding in the surgery eye
- Swelling in the front or inside of the surgery eye
- Detached retina (when the retina lifts up from the back of the)
- Damage to the eye
- Loss of vision in the surgery eye
- IOL displacement, moving out of position
Cataract surgery cannot restore vision lost from other problems like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration