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A cataract is a condition in which the lens within the eye becomes cloudy. During your comprehensive eye exam your eye doctor will evaluate your lens for a cataract. Typical symptoms associated with cataracts are blurred vision (with or without glasses), glare (especially at night), light sensitivity, and trouble reading. Cataracts are very common and are part of the normal aging process of the eye. Some cataracts are very mild and can be monitored on a yearly basis, while other cataracts are large and require surgery. At LOOKS we want you to have the best possible experience when it comes to your cataract surgery, so we have teamed up with local eye surgeons to help you step by step during this process.
What to Expect During Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery involves the removal of the natural lens in your eye, which has become cloudy. Your lens is replaced by a new one, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). This surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually lasts 15 to 30 minutes. In most cases, surgery is performed on one eye at a time.
Each eye surgeon’s procedure may vary slightly, but generally you can expect your surgeon to take the following steps:
- Apply a topical anesthetic to numb your eye.
- Make a small incision in the cornea with either a handheld blade or laser. A small probe is then inserted into the eye and breaks ups and removes your cataract, and your new lens is inserted. In most cases, the incision is so small no stitches are required.
- Protect your eye with an eye shield, which can typically be removed after a few hours
Recovering from Cataract Surgery
Recovery from surgery is usually very rapid, with most patients returning to most of their daily activities within 24 hours. You will be seen at our office the following day and will be given instructions on eye drops to help with the recovery process. We suggest that you do not drive for at least 24 hours after surgery and in some cases until a new glasses prescription is given.
It is very common to have some minor symptoms after surgery such as:
- A stinging or gritty feeling
- Light sensitivity
- Eye redness and some swelling
After surgery you should avoid eye rubbing or putting pressure on your eyes. Reading, walking, watching TV or other light activities are okay as soon as you get home the same day. You should avoid strenuous activities, like heavy lifting, for at least one week. After one week, we will again see you at our office; at this time we will discuss having the second eye operated on and additional follow up instruction.