Your Questions on Cataract Surgery Answered

The eye is like a camera. It has a lens that refracts light. The lens lies in the middle of the eye. When the proteins in the lens begin to degrade, they form a white cloudy substance as they clump together. This is what is known as a cataract.

Cataracts obscure vision. If they remain untreated, they can cause blindness.

Are cataracts only found in elderly people?

Cataracts often form as a result of the natural aging process. The proteins in the lens of the eyes degrade just as in other parts of the body as the body ages. However, cataracts can also occur as a result of other factors.

Cataracts can result from trauma to the eyes. They can also occur as a result of other medical conditions that cause degeneration, such as diabetes. Exposure to radiation can also result in the development of cataracts. Some people are born with cataracts (i.e. congenital cataracts).

In all cases of cataracts, treatment is necessary as they can result in blindness.

How are cataracts treated?

The only truly effective way to treat cataracts is through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery allows your doctor to remove the cataract.

How are cataracts removed?

Cataract surgery is fast and simple. The surgeon makes a small incision on the front of the eye using a surgical instrument or a laser. An ultrasonic device or laser is then used to break down the lens of the eye. The small pieces of the lens are removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant. This lens implant will restore the vision of the patient.

Do I need to have cataract surgery right away?

It depends on how advanced your cataracts are. Your doctor may advise against cataract surgery if the cataracts are still small. Many doctors will prefer to wait until the cataracts have grown to the point that they interfere with your lifestyle or work.

Is the surgery safe?

Like with any other surgery, cataract surgery has risks. However, the success rates are very high (99%). It is the most common surgery performed in the US. Many ophthalmologists perform cataract surgery procedures regularly and have extensive experience. Having an experienced surgeon significantly reduces the risks associated with the procedure.

Will I be awake during the surgery?

Most surgeons choose to sedate their patients for the procedure. However, sedation is only light and some patients remain awake during the procedure. Even if you are only lightly sedated, however, you will not remember what happened during the procedure. In most cases, patients are in and out of surgery center within a few hours.

How do I find a cataract eye care specialist?

The best way to find a cataract eye care specialist, is to do research. It’s likely that you found this article doing just that. Keep digging. The more you know, the greater your chance for finding the help help for you.  Take some time today to learn more about cataract surgery. Or start searching your area for a cataract specialist.