Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most performed procedures in the United States. Most cataract surgeries are performed on seniors as their vision changes with time. If you are about to undergo this amazing eye procedure, let’s learn everything about cataract surgery and what to expect before and after.
Why We Need Cataract Surgery
Just as we lose the ability to run like we did in our twenties, the effects of aging happen to our eyes too. A build up of proteins on the lens of our eye causes cloudiness, and we find it difficult to read, drive at night, or do many of the activities we could do just a few years ago.
This cloudiness is known as a cataract. It is like trying to see the road through a dirty windshield. Things get blurry, bright lights are a problem, colors appear faded, and you can suffer from double vision.
The good news is your natural lens can be replaced with a clear artificial lens in 20 to 30 minutes during cataract surgery.
What to Expect Before Cataract Surgery
After testing, you can discuss with Hecht Eye Institute what type of lens you would like as your replacement. You can choose just a clear lens, or there are options to help you see better in your near vision so you don’t necessarily need to wear reading glasses. In addition, there are several options available for better distance vision.
Although Medicare covers your surgery, certain types of lenses may be out of pocket.
What to Expect During Cataract Surgery
You are awake but feel nothing due to the numbing drops. You can also be given medication to relax if requested. You are able to go home shortly after the procedure, but you need a driver.
What to Expect After Cataract Surgery
Typically, surgery will be performed on one eye at a time several weeks apart to allow for healing.
Immediately afterward, you may have trouble with bright lights or the sun, so wear wrap around sunglasses even indoors at first.
Other recommendations after cataract surgery include the following:
- Use the eyedrops as prescribed to prevent infection and for any pain.
- You will be restricted from driving for a few days.
- You should not do anything that might put pressure on your eyes like lifting heavy objects or bending down.
- Wear the eye shields at night to protect your eyes from any inadvertent damage and to prevent you from touching or scratching your eyes while asleep.
- Sleep on your back or on the opposite side of your new lens for a week or so.
- You can return to work in a few days.
- No strenuous activity or exercise for one week.
Hecht Eye Institute will provide a written list of do’s and don’ts after cataract surgery.
Unfortunately, medical science has not yet been able to help us run like we did in our twenties, but cataract surgery is one way to overcome aging and enjoy life.