Human eye lens is designed to give a clear vision without blurring. Scientifically explained, lens bend (refract) light rays that come into the eye to help you see. But when the cataract is cloudy the vision appears blurry, dusty, or hazy. Cataracts are clouded due to the protein build up. Not all blurry eyes require a cataract surgery, in most of the cases a contact lens or power spectacles are provided to clear the vision. Statistics show that people above 40 years of age are casually prone to this defect. People with 60 years undergo surgery.Over time cataract can worsen vision and when left untreated it can lead to blindness. If your vision is not clear visit an Opthamologist to further diagnose the condition.
Care to be taken before the surgery:
Prior to the surgery you will have undergo few tests to determine eye health and also your physical to check whether the doctor can proceed with the surgery. Your eye measurements are taken for choosing the IOL which sets the best for you. Some additional measurements like the curvature shape and cornea length You will be provided and explained about the whole process on how the surgery happens and the details of the procedure. Once you have the complete information, you will be asked to sign a consent form, which is a common procedure at every hospital, and now that you are well informed you can decide whether to go ahead with the procedure.
Doctors will perform a refraction test for farsightedness and nearsightedness as you will be provided with a lens. You may even be asked about any supplements or medication you are currently consuming as few of the medications may create any complications or infection post surgery so may have to stop them for a while depending on doctors’ advice. You will be provided with prescribed eye drops which helps to prepare the eye for surgery. Taking solid foods may be prevented a few hours prior to the surgery. Take a prior appointment for the surgery and the date which is flexible to you depending on the availability of the doctor.
Procedure of the Surgery:
The doctor will numb the area of surgery through an injection. As you need to be awake through the process. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete. You will be made to relax before the procedure. The most common process of cataract surgery is Phacoemulsification. In this process the doctor sees through a microscope and makes a small incision through laser, and the cataract is broken down into several pieces, with the help of suction the pieces are removed and the Intraocular Lens (IOL) is implanted. They do not stitch the incision as they are usually self healing. It is a completely painless procedure. Cataract surgery costs may vary from place to place depending on the need. Cataract surgery is usually of two types:
- Manual extracapsular cataract surgery (MECS)
- Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS)
- Intracapsular cataract surgery
- Manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS)
- Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS)
Usually medical insurance covers the cost of the surgery, Medicare insurance also has the same procedure. So you can claim the amount that cost you for the surgery. Both the entire process require extra care before and after the surgery, as any small negligence can cost your vision. You are not required to stay at the hospital after the surgery. You will have to wear power glasses depending on your need. Often reading glasses are provided. Doctors sometimes may suggest you opt for powered vision glasses, then you have to go with doctor prescribed glasses according to condition. In case you do not have any objection you will be implanted with a monofocal lens and glasses will be provided accordingly. If you want to be less dependent on the glasses after the surgery you will be suggested with presbyopia. In this process your monofocal lens will be a power vision lens which provides you less need of reading glasses. This procedure of presbyopia cannot be affordable by everyone and it may be a little out-of-pocket.
Road to Recovery after the Procedure:
Though the process of implanting may take only 15 minutes you need to present at the medical center for at least 90 minutes. After-care is a very crucial process as the eye is vulnerable to tear if handled aggressively. You will be given necessary instructions on what to be followed post the surgery. Driving is off-limits so may have to be accompanied by anyone. Attempting to drive is totally unsafe and after the surgery, the doctor checks for vision and confirms whether you are fit to drive.
You will be provided with necessary prescribed medicated eye drops and their period of usage. A special eye shield will be given to wear while sleeping or napping. Exposure to direct sunlight or any bright light is completely off-limits. To avoid exposure you will be prescribed to wear post-operative sunglasses. During the recovery process, you may experience redness and blurred vision during the first few weeks after the surgery.
- You need to avoid lifting heavy weights and performing strenuous activities.
- Avoid bending and exercising as it may strain your eyes.
- Avoid splashing water into your operated eye as it may cause infection.
- Stay awake from swimming or hot tub baths until the doctor confirms.
- Keep your eye from any dust particles to avoid contamination.
You will also be given other specific precautions by your surgeon depending on your condition. In case you will have to opt for cataract surgery in both the eyes, the doctor may ask you to come back after a few weeks of operating your first eye and when it is sufficiently healed, the other eye will be performed with the surgery.
Cataract surgery may sound a little scary, but it is completely safe and there is no question to be worried. For any doubts or questions reach your doctor and get them clarified before your procedure for a stress-free experience. For a calm and smooth cataract procedure keep your mind relaxed and have faith in the surgeon.