Learn the Facts about Cataract Removal
Cataracts are a common eye disease that is most prevalent among older adults. This disease is characterized by when the clear lens of your eye clouds becomes opaque. The only treatment for cataracts is cataract removal, during which our Sealy, TX, eye surgeon takes out the foggy lens and replaces it with a transparent artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
At Sealy Eye Center, our eye surgeons are expertly qualified and highly experienced in performing cataract surgery. We will perform cutting-edge laser cataract surgery in the comfort of our office. This safe procedure will not only remove your cataracts, but it will also correct your vision – often eliminating the need for eyeglasses.
Reasons for Cataract Removal
The primary symptoms of cataracts are:
- Blurred vision
- Poor night vision
- Double vision in one eye
- Fading colors
- Increased glare from lights
Sometimes these problems are very minor and don’t disturb your quality of life at all. Yet, when cataracts are more severe, they can interfere with your ability to live normally. They may make it impossible to drive, read, use a computer, watch TV, climb staircases, or identify faces. Cataracts can also get in the way of medical treatment for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, because they prevent your eye doctor from inspecting the back tissues of your eye thoroughly. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.
Preparing for Laser Cataract Surgery
A variety of IOLs is available, and each type has unique features, benefits, and risks. The IOL is usually set to provide sharp distance vision, however multifocal IOLs are also available, which eliminate your need for reading glasses. To discuss the best option for your visual needs, our Sealy, TX, eye doctor will meet with you for a consultation prior to your procedure.
Approximately a week before your cataract surgery is scheduled, an ultrasound test will be performed to measure the size and shape of your eye. This diagnostic procedure, which is fast and painless, provides measurements that are essential for determining the most suitable IOL.
We may advise you to discontinue certain medications before cataract surgery, in case they increase your risk of bleeding during the cataract removal process. Also, our eye doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops to reduce the risk of infection a few days prior to the procedure. From about 12 hours before your surgery, we may instruct you not to eat or drink.
Cataract Removal in Sealy, TX – Step by Step
From start to finish, the entire procedure typically takes one hour or shorter, and it is done on an outpatient basis. Here are the basics of what to expect during laser cataract surgery:
- You will be awake during the procedure, yet we may prescribe a relaxing sedative that will make you groggy – but not put you to sleep.
- Your eye doctor will administer dilating eye drops as well as local anesthetics to numb the ocular region.
- Using an ultra-precise femtosecond laser, the eye surgeon will remove your clouded lens. (This innovative procedure is now a reality thanks to the pioneering work of our Sealy eye doctor, Dr. Stephen Slade and his partner Dr. Richard Baker – the first doctors to perform cataract surgery in the United States using a femtosecond laser!)
- After cataract removal, an artificial, clear IOL will be implanted. The implant is composed of either plastic, silicone or acrylic, and you will not be able to feel, see or sense it in your eye. It becomes a permanent part of your care and needs no care. Right after the cataract surgery, your eyesight will likely be blurry. This should improve within a few days, as your eye heals.
- You will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery, so be sure to arrange a ride. You may also need help for about a week, specifically for activities that require lifting and bending.
After Cataract Surgery
Within a few days after the procedure, you will need to return for a follow-up eye exam in our Sealy, TX, eye care clinic.
Itching and mild discomfort are usual complaints, and it is critical to avoid rubbing or pushing on your eye. We may provide you with medicated eye drops to apply, as well as give you a protective shield or eye patch to wear on the first day, or even for a couple of days following cataract surgery. The entire course of healing takes about eight weeks.
Cataract removal is very common and very safe. Complications from this procedure are rare, and if they do arise, they are generally treated easily. Possible risks include infection, swelling, bleeding, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and loss of vision. If you have another eye disease or serious medical condition, the chance of complications is higher.
Rest assured – the vast majority of people who undergo cataract surgery in our Sealy, TX, eye care office enjoy crisp, clear, and comfortable vision as a result! Contact us at Sealy Eye Center to learn more and to schedule an appointment.