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Cataract Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

by Melissa Bell
3 minutes read

Has your vision become a little blurry or cloudy? It could be cataract. This condition is very common, affecting more than 24.4 million Americans above the age of 40 years. This means one in every six people in this age group have this condition. By age 80, more than 50% people have cataract, the number of women with cataract being slightly higher than men.

Cataract surgery involves making a small incision in the eye. Highly sophisticated medical equipment is used to remove the cloudy lens and insert an artificial transparent lens to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery is typically a day procedure, which means you do not need to be admitted, even if both your eyes are being treated.

Portrait of surgeon with microscope and female patient at the operating room

Choosing the Surgeon

Ensure that the surgeon is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Also consider opting for a practice that uses cutting-edge equipment and the most advanced technology to diagnose and treat conditions.

At times, lens dislocation takes place during cataract surgery, requiring the surgeon to perform IOL (intraocular lens) fixation. Since many ophthalmologists still use traditional suture techniques, it is important to enquire whether the sutureless Yamane technique will be used in case of lens dislocation. The sutureless Yamane technique has benefits like less discomfort, faster recoveries, and lower risk of postoperative hypotony (intraocular pressure) and no risk of suture-induced astigmatism.

How to Prepare for the Day of Cataract Surgery

Preparing for a cataract surgery is not complicated. Typically, the surgery will be planned a couple of weeks after consulting an ophthalmologist and being diagnosed with the condition. You may need to spend between two to three hours at the eye clinic on the day of the surgery. Although the procedure itself may take less than 30 minutes, it’s a good idea to rest and recuperate a little before heading home. Some people feel a little groggy from sedation and can rest for longer in the recovery area before going home.

A protective shield will be placed on your eyes. This will need to be kept on for a few hours after the procedure. Ask your ophthalmologist when you can take the shield off. You’ll also need to wear sunglasses on your way home so that your eyes are protected from sunlight and bright lights. Consider asking someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Care After the Cataract Surgery

It is a good idea to take 2-3 days off from work, as your vision may remain blurry for 48-72 hours. Avoid wearing wear eye makeup for a few days too. It’s best to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for a few weeks, as these can put extra pressure on your eye. Sneezing or vomiting can also strain your eyes. People who are obese or suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure are more prone to eye conditions like cataract. High exposure to the sun and a family history of cataract can also increase the chances. It is recommended to visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam at least once a year.

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