What to Know About Cataract Surgery

by Oct 2, 2019

As the population gets older, more and more people will be diagnosed with cataracts and will need to consider surgical treatment.  Even though surgery might seem daunting, cataract removal surgery is one of the most common and routine procedures performed in the United States.  Here is a guide to everything you need to know about cataract surgery


The Basics: What Are Cataracts?

Behind the iris, or the colored part of the eye, there is a natural lens inside of the eye.  In the beginning of life, this lens is clear and allows light to focus on the back of the eye.  Throughout life, proteins and free radicals begin to collect in the lens, making it cloudy. When this occurs, it is called a cataract.  Cataracts can take a very long time to progress, and they are typically not addressed until they are affecting vision or negatively impacting daily life.  Once this is the case, cataract surgery is recommended. 


How Cataract Surgery Works

During cataract extraction surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced by a clear biocompatible lens.  Most commonly, this is done by a process known as phacoemulsification. This entails a surgeon making a small corneal incision, then using a device to safely fragment the old natural lens and remove it.  The surgeon then implants a new, clear lens in the same capsule that used to hold the old clouded lens. The corneal incision usually does not require stitches or sutures and can heal quickly on its own. In most cases, cataract surgery is performed in an outpatient setting and does not require general anesthesia.  The whole process, from arriving to the surgical center to leaving following the procedure, may only take a few hours. 


Recovering from Cataract Surgery 

After cataract surgery, many people report noticeably improved vision within a few days.  During the recovery process, the surgeon will prescribe several medicated eye drops that need to be taken as prescribed in order to prevent infection or post-surgical inflammation.  The doctor will also require several follow-up appointments to ensure the healing process is going according to plan; most surgeons will see patients one day, one week, and one month after the procedure to monitor health and vision.  While strenuous or high-risk activities are not advised for a short time after surgery, daily activities can be resumed shortly after the procedure and many people return to their normal schedule within a day or two. Most people who have undergone cataract surgery agree that it is a simple and painless process. 

The procedure and recovery process are typically very safe.  However, there are a few risks associated with cataract surgery.  Problems like infection, bleeding, or retinal swelling can occasionally occur, though they are rare complications.  Properly following postoperative instructions greatly reduces the risk of a surgery-associated complication. In some cases, a “secondary cataract” can form months or years after the surgery, in which cells from the original lens capsule cloud the back surface of the new lens.  This can easily be treated with a simple and safe laser procedure. 

Our eye doctors, optometrists and staff at EyeDocs Family Eye Care excel in providing the highest quality eye exams in Brookville, Ohio for those with eye disease and those needing cataract surgery.  Call us at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online.  Our optometrists provide the highest quality eye care services in the Brookville, OH 45309 area.

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