If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, we want you to know that there are many different options to suit your needs and lifestyle.
There are over 3 million cataract surgeries performed annually, which makes it the most common surgical procedure in the United States. Advancements in cataract surgery have made it possible for patients who have experienced dull or blurred vision before surgery able to see sharper, brighter images following surgery. With this new technology many patients can do so without the dependence of glasses.
At the Center for Sight of Delaware County, our physicians and staff are here to educate you so that you will be able to make an informed decision. At the time of your examination. we can discuss which option is best for you and do our best to design vision that is right for you.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or yellowed.
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present.
Cataract is not:
- a film over the eye;
- caused by overusing the eyes;
- spread from one eye to the other;
- a cause of irreversible blindness.
Common symptoms of a cataract are:
- painless blurring of vision;
- glare and light sensitivity;
- poor night vision;
- double vision in one eye;
- needing brighter light to read;
- yellowing or fading of colors
What causes a cataract?
The most common cause of developing a cataract is age. The causes of a cataract are family history, medical problems, such as diabetes, medications, especially steroids; long term, unprotected exposure to sunlight, ocular inflammation and ocular trauma.
When should cataract surgery be done?
Surgery should be considered when cataracts cause loss of vision or interfere with your daily activities. It is not true that cataracts need to be "ripe" before they can be removed or that they need to be removed just because a cataract is present.
Cataract surgery can be performed when your visual needs require it. You must decide if you can see well enough to do your job, drive safely, read or watch tv in comfort.
How are cataracts removed?
During cataract surgery, which is usually performed under local or topical anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Patients are given topical numbing drops and IV sedation, or twilight anesthesia, to ensure that they are comfortable and relaxed for the procedure. During cataract surgery a new lens (intraocular lens), replaces the old lens. Your ophthalmologist performs this delicate surgery by using a small incision and ultrasound energy to break up the cataract. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is then placed into the eye to focus light onto the retina. The entire procedure takes less than an hour. Patients are sent home the very same day and return to normal activities within a couple of days.