The Top 3 Things You Need to Know About Cataracts
June is Cataract Awareness Month. Finding out you or a loved one has Cataracts can be quite alarming. You may receive an overwhelming amount of information from your physician, friends and the Internet, but here are the top 3 things we wanted to share with you about Cataracts and Cataract Surgery.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract occurs inside the eye, behind the iris and the pupil. Specifically, it’s when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, causing changes in vision.
How do I know if I have Cataracts?
Many patients have difficulty seeing at night (especially while driving), blurry vision and notice that colors appear more dim or dull. With that being said, not everyone notices these symptoms and some patients may not realize they have a Cataract until their eye doctor performs their annual eye exam. Cataracts can take a varying amount of time to formulate, so for some folks, the changes are so gradual, they may not even notice their vision is decreasing.
Let’s talk Surgery.
Unfortunately, the only way to truly improve your vision once you’ve been diagnosed with Cataracts is to have them removed and a new lens inserted in its place. Luckily, Cataract Surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed around the world and is very quick, safe and effective. The procedure itself takes only about 15 to 20 minutes!
During the surgery, a small incision is made and the Cataract is broken up into tiny pieces and carefully removed. A new Intraocular Lens is placed behind the iris and pupil and shockingly, no stitches are needed once this is complete. Medicated eye drops are typically prescribed and most patients can return to their normal activities shortly after. Restrictions following surgery are minimal: no eye makeup, swimming or heavy lifting for two weeks.
Surgeons generally recommend removing one cataract at a time, scheduling the eyes approximately two weeks apart. This allows for the first eye to heal before proceeding with the second procedure.
There are various Intraocular Lens options, all offering different visual goals following surgery. Speak with your physician about what lens options may be best for you.
To watch a quick animation about Cataracts, click here.