It may seem intimidating to undergo a surgical procedure on your eyes, but cataract surgery is a simple and safe operation that does not even require an overnight stay in the hospital. Your eyes are small organs, but when their vision is compromised by a foggy lens, it can dramatically alter your quality of life. Although postponing cataract surgery does not present much risk, there is no reason to continue living with cataracts when a safe surgical procedure is available.
When to Consider Surgery
When cataracts develop, the crystalline lens of your eye begins to cloud, making vision foggy and difficult. Extreme cataracts can block vision altogether. In the early stages, it may only result in near-sightedness or a decreasing ability to see the blue tints in colors. Untreated cataracts will typically progress to blindness, and doctors often suggest surgery as soon as cataracts begin to impede on your usual daily activities. Surgery is also recommended for those whose cataracts are interfering with treatment for another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy.
Your doctor will probably recommend several steps to prepare for cataract surgery. Some medications will need to be stopped, and you will be asked to administer eye drops regularly, beginning a couple days before surgery. Many patients will fast for up to 12 hours before their appointment. Driving after surgery is not recommended, so patients will need to arrange for a ride home from their operation.
How the Surgery Works
Cataract surgery is conducted by an ophthalmologist who will remove the foggy natural lens of your eye and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. There are several types of lens your doctor may use, including monofocal lens, toric lens, or multifocal lens. Monofocal lenses are the most common implants, although toric lenses might be recommended for those with astigmatism. Multifocal lenses can help improve eyesight at several distances, although they may create a glare. Your doctor can help you decide which type of lens is best suited for your situation.
Cataract Surgery (All About Vision)
Cataract Surgery (MedicineNet.com)