Routine Cataract Surgery
A cataract is a cloudy area in the normally clear lens, one of the structures in the front of the eye. Cataracts are caused by a breakdown of the protein that makes up the lens. They eventually cause blurred or distorted vision. They cannot be prevented but early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible.
People at greatest risk for developing cataracts are generally over 55 years old, have a history of diabetes, have had eye injuries or disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications. There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision may be due to cataracts. These include:
- Blurred/hazy vision, difficulty keeping glasses clean
- Sensitivity to glare especially with night driving
- Difficulty reading the print on television
- Problems in reading fine print or threading needles
- A temporary improvement in near vision may represent early cataract development
During modern cataract surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye which breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently sucks, or aspirates, those pieces out of the eye. Surgery requires a small incision of only three mm or less. To make your procedure as painless as possible, anesthesia is a combination of local and/or topical along with IV sedation.
With the recent advance of foldable intraocular lenses (IOLs), they can be implanted through the same small incision that is created in the procedure. These IOLs are made of a flexible material, allowing them to be folded for implantation. Once inside the eye, the lens unfolds and returns to its original shape.