If you are thinking about having cataract surgery, this is the place to start. Many people are squeamish about the thought of surgery, but this is a procedure that has been done for years, and can be done as an outpatient procedure. And it permanently improves your eyesight. If you have suffered for years with blurry vision and increasingly stronger eyeglasses, once you've had this surgery, you'll kick yourself for not having it done long ago. Here is what you can expect from this type of eye surgery and how you should prepare.
Getting Ready for the Surgery
Don't have a heavy meal the night before or the morning of the surgery. This can make you a little queasy, if you're anxious about the procedure. Get plenty of sleep the night before, too. This also releases any tension so you can relax during the surgery.
You'll need a friend to take you to the clinic and bring you home. Your eyes will be dilated for the procedure, which makes driving difficult for a few hours.
Plan to spend a couple of hours at the clinic, even though the procedure won't take that long. Your doctor will give you something to help you relax beforehand and you'll want to rest a bit before leaving the clinic. If you have a lot of anxiety over outpatient surgery, talk to your ophthalmologist and they may give you something to take before leaving home to help you relax.
During the Surgery
You'll sit in a chair and be reclined partially back to give your doctor good access to your eye. They will place drops in your eye to dilate the pupil followed by anesthetic eye drops. Both will feel cool in your eye but you'll have no pain or discomfort.
Two common techniques are used, depending on the condition of your eye:
Regardless of which technique is used, once the lens material and cataract are gone, a plastic, acrylic or silicone artificial lens is put into place. This is called an intraocular lens (IOL) and becomes a permanent part of your eye. You won't notice it is there and it doesn't need any special maintenance.
With the ultrasound procedure, no stitches are required while the other procedure does to close the larger incision.
After the Procedure
Your sight will initially be blurry in the affected eye and the dilation will cause bright lights to bother you. Your doctor will let you rest for awhile in the clinic before your friend takes you home.
As your eye heals, it may feel itchy. The doctor may give you a shield to wear over your eye to prevent you from rubbing it. They may also give you eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation. You'll visit the doctor in a few days after the surgery, and a few weeks after that to track your progress. You should expect to see the improvement in your eyesight in just a few days.
You may need prescription glasses once your eye has finally healed. This will help your eye focus without straining the eye muscles.
Cataract surgery is such a simple and effective procedure that it's worth considering once diagnosed with cataracts. The cataracts will only get worse. By replacing the lens with an artificial one, this surgery insures that you are free from any future cataracts. Talk to experts such as those from Blue Ridge Ophthalmology for more information.
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