Cataracts are a big problem for many people. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world.
Cataracts are an unavoidable part of life since at some point almost everyone will get them. But don’t let that frighten you.
It’s possible to treat cataracts. Better yet, the surgery to remove them is safe and effective. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery!
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are unique in the way that they cause vision loss. They do not cause any sort of damage to your eye, although they may develop from an eye injury.
Cataracts are clumps of protein that form inside the lens of your eye. Without cataracts, the lens is clear and has proteins arranged to let light pass through.
But due to aging, these proteins start breaking down and stick together. This forms a cataract.
During the early stages, the amount of light blocked is so low that changes to vision are minimal. As the mass of protein gets larger and larger, it blocks enough light from being able to enter the eye to impact your vision.
Besides blurry vision, cataracts can also cause glare, double vision, faded colors, a yellowish tinge to your eyesight, and halos around light.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
Since cataracts are clumps of protein inside the lens, it is impossible to remove them from the lens. Instead, doctors remove the entire lens and replace it with an artificial one.
These synthetic lenses are called IOLs, short for “intraocular lenses”. Intraocular lenses come in a variety of styles. This lets you customize your vision based on preferences as well as your financial flexibility.
The most basic and least expensive IOL is a monofocal IOL, and it allows you to see at a single distance. This means you will still need to use glasses after the surgery.
Multifocal and accommodating IOLs are capable of focusing light at several distances. Most people with these IOLs no longer need glasses after cataract surgery.
This is the case even if you had less than perfect vision before you had cataracts.
If you have astigmatism, toric IOLs are specially made to correct this refractive error. They can also correct other refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness.
To implant an IOL, the surgeon must first remove the lens with the cataract. Your surgeon will first numb your eye and then create an incision in the cornea.
They will then use an instrument to break the lens apart inside of the eye. This lets them remove the lens piece by piece.
The preselected IOL can then be inserted into the membrane that held the original lens. The incision in the cornea is then closed with tissue that was left attached at the beginning of the surgery.
Recovering from cataract surgery can take several months, but the process gets easier as your healing progresses.
If you have cataracts in both eyes, you’ll have surgery on the eye that has the worst vision first. You’ll have surgery on the second eye once you’ve healed enough, usually about 8 weeks later.
Wondering if you may need cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening with the experts at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL today!
There’s no better place to start when it comes to getting your vision back and living your life the way you want to without cataracts!