Cataracts is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that blocks the light entering the eye, thus affecting vision. Surgery is one of the most common options to treat cataracts and improve vision. It is performed by an ophthalmologist and in most cases, is an outpatient procedure. Cataracts is an eye condition that causes blurred vision and increases the glare of light. It usually begins after 40-years-old. Symptoms of cataracts do not start many years after the beginning of clouding in eyes.
Under normal conditions, surgery is recommended when the clouding in the eye affects the normal day-to-day activities of a person. Doctors may suggest surgery if it affects the treatment of other eye conditions, like age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. It is usually done for children born with cataracts and is also suggested for people who get cataracts as a result of an eye injury or other health issues.
While thinking of surgery as an option, the following are considered:
- Vision is affected to work or drive without difficulty
- Have problems while watching television or reading a book
- Clouding of eye affects routine activities like cooking or climbing stairs
- There is difficulty in seeing faces clearly
- Vision is affected in bright light
Cataracts surgery is an elective procedure and one can get it done after discussion with the doctor. For many people, the effects of cataracts can be minimized using other methods, like eyeglasses, vision aids, and contact lenses.
There are three different types of cataract surgery:
- Phacoemulsification – In this procedure, a small incision is made in the cornea to insert an ultrasound probe. Ultrasonic vibrations are used to emulsify the clouding in the lens and the pieces suctioned out. An artificial lens is then placed inside to help in focusing. This is one of the most common methods used in cataracts surgery.
- Extracapsular cataract surgery – This procedure is used for those with advanced cataract. A large incision is made in the cornea to remove the cataracts without fragmentation. An artificial lens is then placed in its place and wounds sealed using a number of sutures.
- Intracapsular cataract surgery – The entire lens is removed in this procedure through a larger wound in the cornea.
Risks are not very common with cataracts surgery and when present, they can be treated successfully. Some of the risks include inflammation, infection, bleeding, swelling, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. These complications are usually more if there are other eye diseases.
You can decide to go ahead with the surgery if it affects your vision and your life considerably, and if your doctor recommends it. Cataracts surgery is known to improve vision and most people who underwent this procedure have good vision after removing the cloudiness in the lenses.