Cataract surgery is one of the most performed surgeries in the United States and many parts of the world. Inevitably, you will get cataracts when you get older. Since cataracts are so common, it’s important to take care of them if they impede your vision. Getting cataracts removed is necessary for many people. The only way to accomplish this is by having cataract surgery. If you have cataracts, you may be wondering what to expect from the surgery, and how your vision will improve. Keep reading to learn more about cataract surgery!
Undergoing Cataract Surgery
When cataract surgery is performed, the surgeon at the Montgomery Eye Center administers numbing medication to the front of the eye. Then a very fine diamond blade to make two very small openings in the eye. Your surgeon will optimally place these incisions at the edge of the clear cornea. The cataract is then dissolved with a small probe. The new, clear artificial lens called an IOL (intraocular lens) will then be inserted through the small opening. The incision then self-seals on its own without the use of stitches.
Which IOL Should I Choose?
Although cataract surgery is an extremely common surgery, many patients are unsure about lens replacement options. An IOL, or intraocular lens, is what is used to replace the natural lens which becomes cloudy. There are many different IOL options available, so it’s important to pick one that best fits your lifestyle and eye health. Your surgeon can help guide you to the appropriate choice.
If you are paying for cataract surgery with Medicare, it will typically only cover a limited focus IOL. This means that you should expect to wear glasses for your best near and distance vision even though you may not have required glasses in the past for certain activities. If you desire more specific outcomes and minimal dependency on glasses, there are great options available.
Premium range-of-focus or multifocal IOLs are designed to improve vision at multiple distances which gives the ability for each eye to see both near and far. The cost of these IOLs goes beyond what insurance typically covers. Sometimes patients can notice nighttime rings around pinpoints of light such as headlights. These lenses are a great option if you want both eyes to see distance as well as read up close with little dependency on glasses.
Another option to consider is Monovision cataract surgery. This means that each eye has a different power of IOL implanted into it. One eye is chosen for distance vision, while the other eye is chosen for near vision. As both eyes work together, patients are able to see near and far for most activities without using glasses. The best candidates for Monovision are those that already use this type of system with contact lenses.
Recovering After Cataract Surgery
After cataract surgery, your eyes will require healing and patience just like any other surgery. You will not be able to drive yourself home from cataract surgery, so make sure you have a driver to take you home after the procedure. It’s important to follow all instructions that your cataract surgeon at Montgomery Eye Center gives you. This includes taking any steroid or antibiotic eye drops that are prescribed to you.
Your vision right after cataract surgery may be blurry or hazy. This is normal, and part of the recovery process. Depending on the patient, this may take several days or even a few weeks to fully dissipate. During recovery, make sure to avoid any strenuous activities like heavy lifting or intense exercising. It is alright to take a shower but avoid getting your head submerged underwater for 2-3 weeks after surgery. You will be expected to come in for follow-up appointments after your procedure. These are typically one day, one week, one month after surgery.
Want to learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery? Contact Montgomery Eye Center today to schedule an appointment.