Cataract surgery is a method of removing the lens of the eye and, in most cases, replacing it with a synthetic lens. Cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which ultimately affects your vision.
Cataract surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist on an outpatient basis, which means you do not have to stay in the hospital after surgery.
Cataracts can cause blurred vision and increased glare.
Cataract surgery may be recommended when cataracts interfere with the treatment of another eye problem.
In most cases, waiting for cataract surgery will not hurt your eyes, so take the time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if possible.
Sometimes, cataract surgery is not able to improve vision due to major eye damage in other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If possible, it will be helpful to evaluate and treat other eye problems before deciding on cataract surgery.
Once dissolved, the cataract-ridden lens can be safely removed through the incisions. You can’t see well without a lens, so we replace it with an artificial lens or IOL.
The IOL takes over the job that the lens was doing, and leaves you with beautiful, clear vision!
When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:
- Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
- Do you have problems reading or watching television?
- Is it difficult to cook, shop, do yard work, climb stairs or take medications?
- Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
- Do bright lights make it more difficult to see?
Can I have cataract surgery if I don’t have cataracts?
If you don’t have cataracts, you may be a candidate for a procedure called Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE. RLE is different than cataract surgery because there is no cloudy lens to remove.
Instead, during RLE, the natural lens that isn’t cloudy gets removed and replaced with an IOL. RLE is often chosen for patients who are very farsighted or have early cataracts.