Optometrists Take a Look

What Happens When You Decide To Get Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This is often a condition brought on by age. As cataracts worsen, they can obscure your vision and eventually lead to blindness. The only cure for cataracts is surgery to remove the portion of the cornea that is obstructing your vision. Here are five things that will happen when you decide to receive eye cataract surgery:

1. Your doctor will measure your cornea

Everyone's cornea is a slightly different shape and size. When your doctor removes a piece of your cornea during surgery, they will need to replace it with an artificial lens to protect your eye. Your optometrist will use an ultrasound to measure your cornea so they can select the right lens for you.

2. You will be given preoperative instructions

Your doctor will give you instructions to follow prior to your surgery. Following these directions exactly is crucial for a good outcome. You be told to stop taking NSAIDs and any other drug that reduces clotting since your doctor will want to discourage bleeding during your cataract surgery. They may also give you prescription eye drops to use in the days leading up to your surgery. These eye drops have antibiotic properties and will help you prevent infection.

3. Your eye will be numbed

Most eye surgeries are performed while the patient is awake since cataract surgery is a relatively quick procedure. Your surgeon will numb your eyes using anesthetic eye drops. If you're nervous about the procedure, your doctor may prescribe you an anxiolytic drug to make you more comfortable. Surgeons perform eye surgery on patients without general anesthesia because it's helpful when patients can follow directions.

4. Your cataracts will be removed

Cataracts are removed using minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon will need to make a small incision in your eye, but the majority of the cataract removal procedure is done using ultrasound waves. A small tool will be placed in your eye to direct the ultrasound waves. The ultrasound will reduce your cataract into pieces that can be carefully taken out of your eye.

5. Your artificial lens will be put in place

Once your cataracts have been removed, your surgeon will need to replace the piece of cornea they cut away. They will place an artificial lens inside your eye, in the space behind your pupil and iris. You may need stitches to encourage the incision in your eye to heal.