Cataract surgery

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Overview

If you have been told that you have a cataract, there is no need to be overly concerned as you are not alone. Each year in the United States, more than 2.5 million people have cataract surgery. Thanks to advanced surgical procedures and technology, cataract surgery is not only one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States, but it is also one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures that you can have. Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and usually only requires a few hours of your time from beginning to end.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a condition of the eye that makes it difficult to see. The internal lens, the part of the eye that we use to focus, becomes clouded.

The eye is like a camera with a lens system at the front and a photosensitive area at the back.  The normal function of the lens is to focus light so that you can see sharp clear images.  If the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, it restricts the amount of light that is able to enter the eye, reducing vision.

A cataract usually develops gradually, eventually making it difficult to carry out your daily activities. If the cataract is not removed, your vision usually becomes worse over time.

One or both eyes can be affected, but a cataract cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Symptoms

  • Blurred vision, for distance or near
  • Colors seem faded or have a yellowish tinge
  • Frequent changes required in your glasses or contact lenses
  • Glare in sunlight
  • Halo effect around lights
  • Difficulty seeing at dawn or dusk when the light is dim.

Cataracts are painless and do not cause itching or redness.

Treatment

The only effective treatment for a cataract is removing them surgically.

Cataract surgery should be considered when you are having difficulty seeing well enough to carry out normal daily activities, such as watching TV, driving or reading.

Cataract surgery is usually performed as a day case procedure under local anesthetic.  During the operation, the cloudy lens (cataract) is replaced with an artificial lens (implant) inside your eye.

What to expect

Typically our cataract surgery treatment involves:

  • An appointment for a pre-operative assessment
  • An appointment for the cataract operation
  • An appointment the following day with the surgeon
  • Follow-up appointments at one week and one month after the surgery with Dr. Kershaw or Dr. Szabo.

Please note that any pre-existing conditions including diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, corneal and retinal problems or trauma may cause your vision to be limited even after successful cataract surgery.

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