A cataract is a cloudy area that forms on the eye’s lens, often occurring with increased age. This condition typically develops slowly and can result in blurred vision and light sensitivity. If you have a cataract afflicting your quality of life, cataract surgery can be a life-changing procedure. Cataract surgery is a quick procedure where the surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts form when the proteins in the eye’s lens break down to form small clumps that prevent it from sending clear images to the retina. They can affect one or both eyes. Although cataracts can impair eyesight when not treated, people can live with them for years without needing treatment other than prescription eyeglasses.
Cataracts become a cause for concern when they significantly affect your vision and quality of life. If cataracts make it difficult for you to perform routine activities, like reading, driving, and recognizing faces, it may be time to consider cataract surgery. Surgery is the only way to get rid of cataracts and restore vision.
How Long Does Cataract Surgery Last?
According to the National Eye Institute, cataract surgery is an almost painless procedure that lasts about an hour. During the operation, your surgeon breaks down and removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). While the procedure is relatively quick, you can expect to spend several hours at the surgical center for preoperative preparations and postoperative recovery. If you have cataracts in both eyes, you may need two separate appointments. This is to allow for a suitable recovery time for each eye.
Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to remove cataracts and restore vision. While your vision may be blurry after surgery, you can expect your vision to improve within a few days. The artificial intraocular lens is designed to last for the rest of your life, making the results permanent.
While cataracts will not grow again after surgery, some patients may experience posterior capsule opacification (PCO). A PCO occurs when the cells that remain after surgery grow to form a cataract-like scar behind the IOL. It can develop due to various extenuating circumstances like diabetes and using steroids. Although PCO is not a serious complication, it shouldn’t go untreated.
Which Surgery Procedure Is Right for You?
When treating cataracts, the applicable procedure depends on the patient’s age, eye condition, and condition severity. Surgery removes and replaces a cloudy lens, while Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) corrects other vision problems. LASIK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. An experienced ophthalmologist can determine the most appropriate procedure for you, depending on your eye health and visual goals.
Restore Your Vision With Cataract Surgery
While cataracts are a natural part of aging, they can cause blurred vision, impeding you from performing routine tasks. If cataracts affect your quality of life, your ophthalmologist or eye care specialist can evaluate your situation and recommend the ideal treatment. Contact your vision specialist today to schedule a consultation.