Moore, Experts in Cataract Surgery
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and helping to produce clear, sharp images. The lens is contained in a bag or capsule within the eye. Over time the cells of the lens cloud, making images look blurred or fuzzy. Sometimes a film may form over the back of the capsule. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging but can also be caused by certain medications or injury to the eye.
In cataract surgery, the clouded natural lens is removed from the eye. Once removed in most cases a permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant replaces the natural lens.
When to have cataract surgery is decision made by the patient with the help of their ophthalmologist. Generally the decision takes into account how well you are able to see during routine activities, otherwise know as Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. You might be able to drive, watch television and work at a computer for quite a few years, even after you are first diagnosed with cataracts.
Over time however, if you have cataracts, you may eventually start to notice, declining vision that is no longer correctable with glasses, glare from oncoming headlights at night while driving, difficulties reading which can't be corrected with glasses or contacts. You may also find difficulties with your favorite hobbies most commonly sewing and golfing. If your functional vision is impaired significantly and it becomes difficult for you to perform your normal daily activities, it may be time for cataract surgery.Once a cataract has formed, there are no medications, diets, glasses or exercises that can reverse the process. Surgical removal of the clouded lens is the only way to completely restore lost vision.
How is Cataract Surgery Done? Cataract surgery usually is done on an outpatient basis meaning you will go home the same day. Moore Eye Institute has several locations available for surgery and you may choose to have your surgery in the hospital or a local surgical center. You will be given eye drops at the facility immediately prior to your surgery to dilate your eyes. You may also be given medications through an IV to help you relax. A local or topical anesthetic will be administered to help make the operation painless.
Once you are in the operating room monitors will be placed to monitor your breathing and heart. The skin around your eye will be cleaned, and sterile coverings will be placed around your eye and head. Your surgeon will use a special operating microscope to help see during the procedure. It has a very bright light that you may be asked to look at. At least one small incision is made into the eye. This procedure is then performed with a small instrument that uses ultrasound to break up the cataract known. This process is known as phacoemulsification.
The small pieces are then suctioned out of the eye with the same instrument. After the lens is completely removed in the majority of cases the surgeon will insert a new lens inside the eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. Most incisions used for cataract surgery are self-sealing. However, on occasion, incisions may need a stitch to prevent from leaking.