What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. When the lens becomes cloudy, light rays cannot pass through it easily and vision becomes blurred.
What causes cataracts?
Cataract development is a normal process of aging. Cataracts can also be present at birth, develop from injuries, certain diseases, medications or long-term exposure to sunlight.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cloudy or blurry vision
Colors seem to fade
Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses
A halo may appear around lights
Poor night vision
Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright.
How is a cataract treated?
A cataract may not need to be treated if your vision is only slightly blurry. Simply changing your eyeglasses prescription may help improve your vision for a while. There are no medications, eye drops, exercises or glasses that will cause cataracts to disappear or prevent them from forming. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. When you are no longer able to see well enough to do the things you like to do, cataract surgery should be considered. Cataract surgery involves removing the cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens.
Preparing for your cataract surgery
You will need to arrange for a responsible adult to take you home from surgery and stay with you until the next day.
If you use glaucoma drops continue to take them up to and including the morning of your surgery.
Do NOT eat anything after midnight prior to surgery.
Shower or bathe the evening before or the morning of your surgery. You must remove all your face make-up.
Wear comfortable clothes that do not need to be pulled over your head. This will make it easier to get dressed for home.
Take your regular prescription medications with a sip of water prior to 6:30 am on the morning of your surgery except:
Do NOT take your insulin or diabetic medication on the morning of surgery
Using an operating microscope, the surgeon will make a tiny incision in the eye. Your cloudy eye lens is removed. During the surgery a new lens is usually inserted.
Eye care following your surgery
Plan to spend a quiet day at home following your surgery.
You will wear a shield over your eye (no patches under it) until the morning after your surgery and then for one week while you are sleeping.
Resume your glaucoma drops the day of your surgery
You will have a follow-up exam at your surgeon’s office the day after your surgery.
What to expect after your surgery:
Your eye may feel scratchy and you may have a burning sensation when putting in your eye drops.
Your vision may be blurry for the first few days after surgery.
Mild discomfort is normal and may be relieved by taking Tylenol or Advil.
To avoid injury to your eye you must NOT:
Touch, rub or apply pressure (especially to your upper lid) of your operative eye for one week following routine cataract surgery.
Lift anything over 25 pounds. (2 weeks)
Swim for at least (2) weeks.
Drive, operate machinery or participate in sports until given permission from your surgeon.
Call your eye surgeon right away if you have: