During cataract surgery, your eye’s natural, cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a new, clear artificial one. This procedure is one of the safest surgeries performed on the human body. Complications are rare.
Cataract removal and intraocular lens implantation is an outpatient procedure which lasts approximately 20 minutes and causes mild to no discomfort. The entire pre-operative, surgical and post-operative process takes about two hours. Most importantly, your entire eye care team – including Dr. Emert and your optometrist – will discuss every detail about your surgery with you and answer any questions about the procedure that you may have.
What causes cataracts?
We get cataracts because every eye has a natural lens that tends to become cloudy as we grow older. More specifically, this lens lies behind the iris, which is the colored part of your eye. Light rays enter the eye throughout the pupil, and are focused by the lens on the back of the eye. This is a part of what allows you to see.
A healthy lens is transparent and allows the light to pass through without difficulty. However, when the lens has become cloudy, it obstructs or hinders the passage of light – meaning a cataract has developed and vision becomes impaired.
Most cataracts progress slowly, with the clouding increasing over a period of several months to years. In fact, you may have the initial signs of a cataract and not be affected.
Generally, cataracts begin to develop in both eyes at about the same time. However, even if both eyes have a cataract, each cataract may develop at a different rate and cause vision to vary from eye to eye.
Sometimes only one eye is affected – especially in cases of injury. Certain illnesses can cause cataracts to develop as well.
What are some symptoms of cataracts?
- Decreased vision
- Difficulty driving at night due to glare
- Glare in bright light or sunlight
- Dim and/or yellow vision
- Trouble with up-close work, such as reading or needlepoint
- A frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions
- Decreased depth perception
- Ghost images
- Decreasing color vision, or colors seem dull or lackluster