As individuals cross the age of 50, it is not uncommon to hear from their doctor about the development of a cataract. This eye condition manifests when the lens inside the eyes becomes clouded, causing a haziness in vision that cannot be rectified with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery. In this guide, we will walk you through the various aspects of cataract surgery, helping you understand when and why it might be necessary, and what the procedure entails.
Identifying the Ideal Candidate for Cataract Surgery
Having a cataract doesn’t necessarily mean that surgery is imminent. Many people manage to see objects clearly by using prescribed eyeglasses or magnifying lenses. However, if you postpone your doctor’s appointment, the cataract can progress over time, leading to additional vision problems such as glare, light sensitivity, dullness of colours, and a halo around lights.
As the condition worsens, you might find it challenging to read, write, or work on digital screens. Ignoring these symptoms can escalate to an advanced form of cataract, making daily activities like night driving or using digital screens strenuous. At this juncture, cataract surgery becomes the only viable option to restore your vision. Our cataract surgeon will conduct a detailed eye check-up to assess the health of your eye and recommend surgery only if necessary to prevent adverse effects on your eyes or quality of life.
Preparing for Your Cataract Surgery
When you visit our eye hospital, the doctor will perform several tests to gauge the shape and size of your eye. These assessments are crucial in selecting the best artificial lens for the surgery. Our expert will share a few tips to prepare you for the cataract surgery, including a recommendation to avoid food or drink for 3-4 hours before the procedure.
What to Anticipate During Cataract Surgery
The cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure designed to be painless. Your doctor will administer numbing eye drops, although you will remain awake throughout the surgery. This numbing agent helps you relax during the procedure. The surgeon will then make a tiny incision on the side of your cornea, the transparent front part of your eye, possibly using a laser for this step.
A specialized tool is utilized to emulsify the cataract and gently suction it out. Following this, the surgeon places the chosen foldable lens, crafted from materials such as plastic, silicone, or acrylic, inside the eye. After the surgery, you will receive instructions and can then be discharged. Please ensure that you have someone to drive you home safely post-surgery.
Understanding the Risks of Cataract Surgery
Like any medical procedure, cataract surgery comes with its set of risks and potential side-effects. Therefore, choosing a proficient eye surgeon is vital to mitigate these risks. Some rare but possible complications include swelling, eye infection, bleeding, retinal detachment, drooping eyelid, and a temporary increase in eye pressure lasting 12-24 hours post-surgery.