When You Should Have Cataract Surgery
As advanced as medical technology is, there is no eye drop or medication that can prevent the formation of a cataract, nor can it be reversed. If a cataract is causing a change in a person’s prescription, blurred vision can be improved with a new prescription. However, surgery is the only true treatment for a cataract. It involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
To Remove or Not to Remove
If a cataract is present, it may not need to be removed. Many people have cataracts that don’t blur their vision or interfere with their quality of life. They lead perfectly productive lives without having to have the surgery. These people don’t need to have the lens replaced.
If a person has blurred vision that causes a glare or makes it difficult to drive, read small print, or enjoy certain hobbies, cataract surgery is most likely necessary.
In short, an individual who has a cataract that interferes with daily life needs to have the lens replaced. If cataracts are present in both eyes, the eyes will be operated on separately, usually four to eight weeks apart.
Cataract Development Before Surgery
There is a misconception that a cataract must become “ripe” to be removed. This is because there was a time when the lens couldn’t be safely removed unless the cataract was in more advanced stages. Being somewhat firm made it easier to remove, although it was still complicated. The harder the cataract, the less safe it is to remove. Now, the lens can be successfully removed after blurred vision is being experienced.
It is also important to know that when a cataract is allowed to develop for an extended period of time, the chance of glaucoma is increased due to increased pressure in the eye. Having a complete eye exam will help determine when cataract surgery is needed. Many patients in Burlington, Vermont, have had the procedure and experienced a great deal of success. Their vision has been restored, and they can go on with their lives. Having the surgery at the right time can reduce the chances of other complications.
The procedure is relatively simple. An opening is made in the natural sac that holds the lens so the lens can be removed. A small incision means the lens may be broken up and suctioned out. A larger incision means the lens can usually be removed in one piece. The eye is numbed with special eye drops so there is no pain. You can also opt for general anesthesia if you don’t want to be aware of the procedure. The corneal flap is replaced after an artificial lens is put in place of the natural lens. An eye covering will be provided to prevent eye rubbing and infection.
Risks of Cataract Surgery
There are some risks after having cataract surgery. They include infection, eye inflammation, retinal detachment, bleeding, worsening of conditions like diabetic retinopathy, failure for vision to improve if other eye conditions are present, and glaucoma. If you experience excessive discomfort, pain, or another problem, additional surgeries or treatments may need to be completed in an attempt to rectify the issue. Fortunately, such complications are rare.
If you need more information on cataract surgery, or if you would like to start the process, be sure to contact Vermont Laser Eye today!