Your eyesight has gradually gotten worse, requiring stronger prescription glasses to see clearly. Your ophthalmologist suggested cataract surgery as the next step. Replacing your cloudy lenses with artificial ones will improve your vision, but you're still a little anxious. Here is what you'll experience with this surgery and what to expect after.
An Outpatient Procedure
Cataract surgery is done in the doctor's office. Your eye will be numbed with some drops, but you'll be awake during the procedure. You'll feel no pain, but may experience some pressure on your eye as the doctor works on it. If you feel nervous about the surgery, your doctor can give you medication to help you relax.
The surgery will take about an hour after which you'll be taken to a quiet area to relax for a few minutes. The doctor will check on you and your eye, and give you instructions about what you can and can't do when you get home. When they are satisfied that your eye is doing well, you'll go home. You'll want someone to take you to your appointment and back home because the eye drops make you sensitive to light and it may not be safe for you to drive.
The Cataract Surgery
During the procedure, you'll rest in a comfortable chair that reclines slightly. The doctor will move some special equipment in front of you that they will be using. Laser cataract surgery is done with few pieces of equipment: the laser, an ultrasonic probe, special lights and a microscope to help the doctor see into your eye.
There are a couple of techniques used in cataract surgery and your doctor may decide which one to use once they examine the lens.
Phacoemulsification - A small incision is made in the eye with the laser. A small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye and used to break up the cloudy lens into small pieces which are then removed. This leaves the tissue pouch which contained the old lens. The artificial lens is inserted into this pouch. You'll require no stitches with this technique.
Extracapsular - If the lens is too firm to break up because of the cataract, it can be removed in one piece. A larger incision is made in the cornea so the doctor can pull the lens out of the tissue pouch. An artificial lens is then put into place and stitches must be used with this technique to close the incision.
Recovery at Home
If you had the more extensive surgery with the larger incision and stitches, your doctor may have you wear a bandage over the eye for a few days. Healing will be slightly slower than with the other procedure. As your eye heals, you may experience some itching. You'll be instructed to not scratch or rub your eye and you'll get some eye drops to use to make the itching more tolerable.
Over the next few days, your vision will begin to clear up. The fogginess and blurriness will be gone. Depending on the type of artificial lens used, you may still require glasses to correct near or distance vision. Click here for more information on laser cataract surgery.Share
18 August 2015
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