When people hear the word “cataracts”, they often have a very negative connotation. Particularly, people associate cataracts with loss of vision in older people, which can seem a little unsettling. The reality is, however, that cataract treatment is a fairly common procedure, as are cataracts in general. If you do not know what cataracts are, a cataract is when the lens of the eyeball clouds, which can then cause trouble seeing and decreased vision. This is not a condition that can be corrected by lasik surgery or wearing eyeglasses or contacts. Instead, it may require cataract surgery to truly correct.
Cataract surgery is a quick and easy procedure that is generally done on older people dealing with vision loss. In this surgery, the lens of the eye is taken out and replaced with an artificial lens. This artificial lens, also known as an intraocular lens, can help make vision clear and will often remove all signs of blurry or cloudy vision. With cataracts as common as they are, cataract surgery is also an extremely common procedure. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the most statistically successful procedures that can be done. It only takes about 15 minutes per eye and can be done as outpatient surgery, meaning a patient does not have to spend the night at the hospital after the procedure. Instead, they can go home immediately to being their recovery, which, because it is usually done on older patients, takes around a month.
In the past, cataract surgery was done with a small scalpel-type device which made little, tiny incisions to break the cataract into small pieces, allowing it to be taken out of the eye piece by piece until vision was clear again. This was generally very effective but the heal time was fairly long. Now, cataract surgery is facilitated by using a high frequency device, which provides a non-surgical way to break the cataract into pieces. After the cataract is broken into small pieces, it can then be suctioned lightly out the eye and will effectively result in clear vision.
Once this is done, the intraocular lens can be inserted in place of the old, cloudy lens. Some cataracts surgeons will stitch the eye if necessary, but many procedures do not require a stitch, just simply some recovery time. Because the procedure is an outpatient procedure, many patients are sent home the same day with an eye covering or shield to help promote healing. It is smart to have someone drive a patient home after surgery and make sure that they are comfortable and will not have to come into a lot of bright light in the day following the surgery. While there may be a little discomfort, the healing process for cataract surgery is usually very easy on most patients.
Where eye health is concerned, it is important to seek out treatment right away to find out whether or not surgery is necessary. This will provide clear vision and the results will last for a long time.