Eye Surgery Cataract

People with cataracts often turn to surgery to help improve their vision.If you’re considering cataract surgery, you’ll want toresearch the surgery’s process, risks and complications, as well as other methods of cataract treatment and cataract removal. Read on to learn about cataract surgery.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts, clouded areas on the lens of the eye, cause blurry vision, light sensitivity, impaired night vision and a dulling of colors. Congenital cataracts are not common.

Cataracts are classified as one of three types. Each type of cataract has its own characteristics and starts in different places:

  • A cortical cataract forms in the lens cortex and gradually extends its spokes from the outside of the lens to the center. Many diabetics develop cortical cataracts.
  • A nuclear cataract forms in the center of the lens.
  • A subcapsular cataract begins at the back of the lens.

No one knows for sure exactly what causes cataracts. However, the following could play a factor in the development of cataracts:

  • age
  • air pollution
  • cigarette smoking
  • diabetes
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • exposure to ultraviolet light
  • steroid use.

Incidentally, cataracts in dogs and other animals are also common.

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract treatment is an outpatient process that is usually done with local anesthetic and takes less than an hour. During the surgery, the clouded lens of the affected eye is removed and an artificial lens is inserted in its place. Some cataract surgeries do not require the implantation of an artificial lens.

Depending on the type of lens and size of the incision, you will usually heal quite quickly, and your vision will improve within a couple of days. You should be completely healed within eight weeks of cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision. In fact, it is the most frequently performed eye surgery in the U.S., with more than 1.5 million cataract surgeries performed each year. Nine out of 10 people who have cataract surgery regain vision somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.

Cataract Surgery

Who is a Good Candidate for Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts cannot be cured by drops, medications, glasses or exercises. However, for some, cataracts do not interfere enough with vision to warrant cataract surgery.

Most people who have cataract surgery are those whose cataracts are interfering with their everyday lives. Other people who are more likely to have the surgery are those with diabetes, as cataracts can develop and expand quickly in these patients.

Cataract Surgery Complications

Cataract surgery risks are relatively low. However, complications can include inflammation, swelling, bleeding, infection, glaucoma and retinal detachment. All of these complications can be treated successfully.

Cataract complications and risks are more common for people who have other eye problems or health risks. Some underlying problems, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, can compromise the surgery.

Cataract surgery does not always help everyone. As a result, make sure that you get a through evaluation from your doctor before undergoing cataract surgery.