Ask the Expert: Cataracts
What is a cataract?
A cataract is the normal aging change of the lens inside the eye. The natural lens starts clear and gradually becomes stiff and cloudy over time. As the lens changes, the vision diminishes.
How do you know if you have a cataract?
In most cases, people report not seeing as well and think they need a glasses change. Sometimes they have specific complaints like glare or trouble with oncoming lights while driving. Others may notice the need for brighter lighting for reading. I think the biggest thing is if you’re having a vision change or problem, it’s worthwhile to get checked to see what’s going on. From there, if cataract is the problem, we have great fixes, so people shouldn’t feel scared or worried about getting evaluated and exploring options to help them see better for the rest of their life.
What are patient’s options when choosing cataract surgery?
When we do cataract surgery, we remove the cloudy cataractous lens and replace it with an artificial lens. The options available to people are related to how we set up the focus at the time of surgery. The advanced lens choices allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Additionally, there are advanced lens options that provide range of vision. These range based lenses allow for the eye to see distance, intermediate, and up close without glasses!
How does a patient’s life change after surgery?
The biggest change noticed is general improvement and consistency with vision across different lighting environments. Patients report feeling more confident and comfortable with their vision overall. Additionally, patients report an improvement in seeing contrast and color, and for those that choose to have less dependence on glasses, not having to constantly worry about where they are, is a big change.
What is the recovery time after cataract surgery?
Most patients feel comfortable within a few days to one week. Restrictions are minimal and only last for one week. Drops are used for a couple of weeks to aid in the healing process.
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