Cataracts are the clouding of your eye’s natural lens. A cataract begins when proteins in the eye clump together and block the lens from sending clear images to the retina. In turn, this effect causes the typical cataract symptoms such as blurry vision, glare, poor night vision, double vision, faded colors, or frequent changes in prescription lenses. Cataracts are common in older people, and over half of the people in the U.S. have cataracts or have gone through cataract surgery by the time they’re 80 years old.
When Would You Have Cataract Surgery?
The lens inside your eye has become so cloudy that it obscures your vision. In order to remedy that problem, an artificial lens is put in place. Cataract surgery is actually one of the most commonly and successfully performed procedures in the United States, with millions of these procedures being conducted each year.
Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the affected eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist on an outpatient basis. Traditionally, cataract surgery relies on ultrasound energy or laser-assisted technology to remove the cloudy lens. Regardless of which method is used, cataract surgery is very common and is considered a safe procedure.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
In the traditional cataract surgery procedure, your eye doctor makes a small incision in the side of the cornea. This is done by hand. A small instrument is placed inside, behind the pupil, to make a small opening. A tiny probe is then placed into that opening. The probe produces sound waves that will break up the cloudiness in the lens. Once the lens is broken down, those tiny pieces are suctioned away. A new, clean, artificial lens replaces the damaged one. No stitches are required, as the incision made is self-healing.
Laser Cataract Surgery
With laser cataract surgery, you’ll be positioned beneath a femtosecond laser equipped with a microscope that helps your doctor map out your eye, providing the exact information as to where they should make incisions. Instead of using a scalpel to make the incisions as is done in traditional surgery, the doctor will use a precise laser beam to make the incisions on the eye. The force of the laser may be enough to break up the cloudy lens. If not, a probe with radio waves will be inserted in much the same way as it is with traditional cataract surgery. A new lens is inserted, and stitches aren’t required.
How Cataract Surgery Repairs Vision
During the short and painless surgery, the eye doctor makes a tiny incision in the eye. Once the incision is made, they remove the cataract. Traditionally, after the cataract was removed, the procedure was finished, and after the operation, patients needed to wear thick glasses or contact lenses so they could see. However, that changed in the late 1980s when the FDA approved replacement lenses for eye surgeries. Now, after removing the cataracts, the eye doctor puts in the replacement lens, and that often improves your vision. Following this procedure, patients are often relieved to find they do not need glasses or contacts at all.
Whether you’re considering cataract surgery or a related procedure, or just need general ophthalmology services, it’s important to feel comfortable with, and confident in, the professionals who are treating you. At New Vision Eye Center in Vero Beach, FL, our board certified eye doctors and our certified clinic technicians are experienced and dedicated to providing professional, skilled and friendly service to every patient, every time.
Contact our world-class eye care office today by calling 772-257-8700, or by completing our easy online inquiry form.