A combination of factors can cause the lenses of your eyes to get cloudy. An otherwise clear lens can be damaged by factors such as trauma, genetics, or age. The condition is commonly known as cataracts.
If your ophthalmologist determines your lens is clouded, they may recommend surgery. The process replaces the lens with a synthetic one. It is a simple procedure that is generally safe.
In this article, we’ll look at when to see an eye doctor and what to expect from a cataract procedure.
Symptoms of Cataracts
You may need to have your eyes examined for cataracts if you notice the following symptoms:
- Nearsightedness: Cataracts tend to develop gradually, causing your eyesight to become progressively worse. This results in you becoming more nearsighted, meaning that you have difficulty seeing objects that are farther away.
- Change in Vision Prescriptions: Obstructions in front of the lens will affect the perception of images. Since the change is progressive, you may have a cataract if you have to frequently change your eyeglasses prescriptions.
- Light Sensitivity and Halos: Deposits and obstructions in the back of the lens can cause an imbalance of light. The front of the eye may receive more illumination than the back. Your sensitivity to bright light may increase with time. You may notice halos around lamps and headlights.
Why You May Need Cataract Surgery
Before the 1990s, a patient had to wait until their cataract had hardened before they went for surgery. It was difficult to remove soft lenses due to limitations of the technology at the time. However, today your ophthalmologist only needs to make minute incisions to remove the deposits. Thanks to the smaller cuts, stitching is often unnecessary.
You may go for surgery if your eye doctor determines that it affects your eyesight. Your eye doctor may also recommend the procedures as part of a treatment process. That could be after the specialist determines that your cataracts are interfering with the evaluation of other eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.
What to Expect from the Procedure
Approximately one week before your eye doctor removes cataracts, you’ll need to go for a checkup. The ophthalmologist will examine the contours of the eye to accurately prescribe the lens you need. You can discuss with your specialist the different options available.
There are different types of lenses you may choose before your cataract surgery. What you opt for will depend on personal factors, such as your budget and preferences. For instance, some patients may choose intraocular devices that can block UV radiation. Other patients may go with a toric lens to correct astigmatism.
During the procedure, your eye specialist will give you an anesthetic. Sometimes the cataract may be removed without replacing it with a lens. If there is a need for a new lens, small incisions will be made to replace it. Cataract surgery is considered an outpatient procedure and usually takes between fifteen minutes and an hour to complete.
After the cataract surgery, there will be follow up sessions to check on your progress. You can expect your vision to increase and your light sensitivity to decrease over time. Even if you do not have any symptoms, it is advisable to get your eyes examined every two years. Contact Adler Eye Institute for more information on cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye conditions.