What You Should Know About Cataracts and Cataract Surgery
Sometimes through the natural aging process, you might notice that the lens of your eye has become cloudy. This clouding of the lens is what is commonly known as cataracts. This clouding of the lens causes you to lose your vision.
Even though cataracts cannot be corrected with glasses or Lasik surgery, modern surgery can help restore your sight.
Before you seek cataract eye surgery in Cass and Ryan Ranch, let’s look at some of the cataract facts.
What Causes Cataracts?
When protein builds-up over time in the lens of your eye, it forms a cloudy film. The hazy film obscures the light from passing through your eye correctly. There are different types of cataracts:
- Nuclear cataract – This cataract forms in the nucleus (central) part of your lens. This type of cataract comes with aging.
- Subcapsular cataract – This cataract forms at the rear part of the lens. This type of cataract is found in people who have diabetes or those who use steroid medications in high doses.
- Cortical cataract – White, Wedge-like opacities begin showing at the periphery of the lens. Then they gradually work their way to the central area of the lens.
Cataracts aren’t always bound by age and can occur due to different reasons. Babies can be born with cataracts caused by either poor development or infections. Alternatively, you can get cataracts through accidents.
How to Diagnose Cataracts
After our ophthalmologist has looked at your medical history, he might perform any of the following tests:
- Dilated Eye Test – This is a retinal test that is done with the help of eye drops that cause your pupils to widen (dilate) so as our ophthalmologist can look at your retina. The retina is located at the back of your eye. This will enable him to check for any abnormalities.
- Visual Acuity Test – This test is done to check how clearly you see the letters on a chart. When diagnosing cataracts, our ophthalmologist will use your test results to check whether your vision has become worse since the last test.
- Slit-Lamp Test – A microscope known as a slit-lamp is used to examine your cornea, iris, and lens for possible abnormalities.
- Tonometry – This test is primarily used to test glaucoma, but it proves useful for diagnosing cataracts.
Understanding Cataract Surgery
In a nutshell, your cloudy lens will be surgically removed, and then an artificial lens known as the intraocular lens will be used as a replacement. The intraocular lens (IOL) will restore your eyesight.
In modern cataract surgery, we use an ultrasound device that emits high-frequencies that shatters the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The small pieces are then cleared from the eye using suction.
After the suction is done, the IOL is inserted in the same natural location where your lens previously occupied.
Finally, our surgeon will close the incision that was made in your eye with stitches; then, a protective shield will be used to cover the eye. The protective shield helps in keeping the eye from disturbances while your eye is recovering.
As scary as the procedure looks like, it is a very safe surgery. It is an outpatient procedure, and there is no need to stay overnight in our hospital.
What Happens After Surgery?
A cataract surgery that isn’t complicated will take around 15 minutes. But the overall process will last a little longer than one and a half hours. This is because you have to be prepped for surgery and the post-operative evaluation has to be performed. You will also have to be informed on how to take care of your eye to facilitate proper healing.
Do not attempt to drive home by yourself; let someone else drive. You will get medicated eye drops that our surgeon will prescribe that you need to apply several times a day. You will have to use a protective eye shield for a week after surgery while sleeping. You will also be given post-operative glasses that will protect your eyes from bright light.
Expect some blurred vision and eye redness for days, at times weeks after the surgery. If surgery has to be performed in both eyes, you will have to wait three weeks between the procedures. The waiting period allows the eye that has been operated on to heal.
Finally, the only way for you to know if you need treatment of cataracts in Cass and Ryan Ranch is if you book an appointment in Eye MD Monterey. Here you will find a medical team ready to help you through the whole process.