Like many eye conditions, cataract development is often age-related. As you age, your lenses can become cloudy, disrupting your vision. If cataract development impairs your vision to a significant degree, your optometrist may advise that you undergo cataract surgery.
To better manage your cataract surgery expectations, Alderwood Optical explains what goes on during the procedure.
A Simple Overview of Cataracts
A clear lens is needed for the proper transmission of clear images to the brain. Cataracts are formed when your eyes’ lenses become cloudy due to protein deposits. The condition may affect either or both eyes, though it doesn’t spread from one eye to the other. Cataracts are most common among the older demographic.
Your optometrist may decide to postpone the cataract removal to assess whether your cataracts will worsen and to determine whether surgery is really necessary. In any case, the procedure is one of the most common, not to mention one of the safest, medical procedures performed by surgeons in the United States. Cataract surgery does not require an overnight hospital confinement. In fact, it is usually done in a clinic. The entire procedure takes less than ten minutes, excluding preparation and the recovery period.
Cataract Surgery Procedure
First, your surgeon will administer eye drops to dilate your eyes, followed by anesthesia to numb your eyes. A small incision will be made to inject the eye with a viscoelastic substance. This fluid will aid in stabilizing and maintaining eye interior and pressure. Your surgeon will then break the cataract with ultrasonic energy using a hollow tip. This process is called phacoemulsification. The phaco tip is then used to suction out the broken up particles of your cataract. The natural lens will then be replaced by an artificial type called an intraocular lens.
Recovery and Aftercare
Your cataract wound will heal on its own and will not require stitches. However, your optometrist may require the usage of eye shield over the bandage for up to a week, even when sleeping. Normally, it will take a month before your eye completely heals. Your vision will improve within a day or so after the surgery.
Alderwood Optical offers top-notch pre- and post-operative care for cataract patients. We believe that the preparation and recovery period are just as important to your visual wellness. You may contact us at (425) 771-8472. We serve patients in Bothell, Lynnwood and Shoreline, WA.