Cataract surgery is a common procedure which involves improving the eyesight of an individual. It is an eye improvement surgery that has been performed for centuries, believed to have originated in Paris. The procedure, sometimes known as lens replacement, takes place with the removal of the natural lens of the eye due to an opacification that has developed. This is referred to as a cataract and is replaced with an intraocular lens. Once a cataract develops, the only form of cure is my replacing the lens though surgery.
Our eyes contain lenses that are meant to refract the light rays that enter through them and are supposed to be clear in order for us to see. When a cataract develops, it causes blurry and impaired vision. Cataract surgeries are quick procedures lasting approximately 30-45 minutes. It does not require inpatient care, though strongly advised to be accompanied by a companion. Though the surgery is to improve one’s eyesight, cataract surgery side effects are common among patients.
Cloudy and blurry vision months after cataract surgery, is normal a few days following the procedure though some have claimed to experience blurry vision months after the procedure. Occasionally, blood vessels in the retina may leak, causing fluids to collect in the eye. This can easily be treated by the doctors using eye drops or other forms of medication. Complications after a cataract procedure are rare and are usually caused by other underlying issues. Symptoms of post-procedure complications include swelling, bleeding and glaucoma.
After the procedure, patients are usually provided with protective shields for their eyes to ensure that they are protected as their eyes would be extremely weak and vulnerable to infections. During recovery, patients are expected to not exert themselves and to rest for at least a few days to make sure that the eyes heal well.
Though it is not uncommon for cataracts to redevelop, it can be easily resolved by a five-minute outpatient procedure called yttrium-aluminium-garnet (YAG) laser capsulotomy. During the procedure, a laser beam is used to make a small opening in the lens to create a clear pathway for light to refract.
Most daily activities can be resumed a couple of days after cataract surgery except for driving as it can cause danger to the patient, and to others as well. Exercising should be light, as the eyes would still be healing and any exposure to light can cause harm and irritation. It typically takes 4-6 weeks for the cataract to be completely healed.
The average age people opt for a cataract procedure varies, depending on the deterioration of their eyesight. The typical age range for this procedure ranges from 60 to 75 years of age. However, cataracts may start to form from the age of forty, but it would take many years before vision is impaired.
Once the cataract is healed, the patient will be able to have a much better quality of life. Besides seeing clearly, an improved cataract allows individuals to drive more safely, and complete daily tasks easier. Cataract procedures have also been said to slow the decline in cognition among Alzheimer’s patients or individuals who may genetically be inclined to have the disease. This is especially helpful and beneficial for people in the geriatric demographic.