Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries. It is also one of the safest and most effective. Surgery involves swapping out the cloudy lens with a new lens. If you have cataracts in both eyes, they can’t be taken out at the same time. You will need to do the surgery on each eye separately.
Cataracts are usually taken out by:
- Small incision cataract surgery (Phacoemulsification): This is the most common type of cataract removal surgery. The doctor makes a small incision on the side of the cornea. The cornea is a clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. A tiny probe gives off ultrasound waves to soften and break up the cloudy center of the lens. The cataract is then removed through the same incision.
The removed lens is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL). With an IOL, a person has better eyesight because light will be able to pass through.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. This is an area that is normally clear. As this clouding happens, it keeps light rays from passing through the lens and focusing on the retina. The retina is a tissue lining that is sensitive to light. It is located in the back of the eye. This cloudiness happens when some of the protein which makes up the lens of the eye begins to change its structure. It then gets in the way of your eyesight.
In its early stages, a cataract may not cause a problem. The cloudiness may affect only a small part of the lens. However, the cataract may grow larger over time and affect more of the lens. This can make it harder for you to see. If less light reaches the retina, it becomes even harder to see. Your vision may become dull and blurry. Cataracts cannot spread from one eye to another. Many people do, however, get cataracts in both eyes.
What causes cataracts?
Although experts don’t know for sure what causes cataracts, they think there could be several possible causes including:
- Too much time in sunlight
- Steroid use
- Certain diuretic use
- Certain major tranquilizers
Who is at risk for cataracts?
Possible risk factors include:
- Age: Age is the greatest risk factor for cataracts. Age-related cataracts may develop between 40 and 50 years old.
- Where you live: Recent studies have shown that people who live in high altitudes are more at risk of developing cataracts.
- Too much sun exposure: People who spend more time in the sun may develop cataracts sooner than others.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
The following are the most common symptoms of cataracts. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Lights are too bright and/or give off a glare or a halo
- Poor night vision
- Multiple (double) vision
- Colors seem faded
- Increased nearsightedness, increasing the need to change eyeglass prescriptions
- Distortion of vision in either eye
Often in the disease’s early stages, you may not notice any changes in your vision. Since cataracts tend to grow slowly, your eyesight will get worse slowly. Certain cataracts can also cause your close-up vision to get better for a short time. But your eyesight is likely to get worse as the cataract grows. T
Halifax Health - Ophthalmology
Halifax Health – Ophthalmology provides comprehensive treatment or surgical plans for your eye condition needs. You will have confidence that you are in the best hands during your treatment plan as our ophthalmologist, Dr. Nishita Patel, is Halifax Health’s only eye trauma surgeon at our Level II Trauma Center. This means that your eyes are in the care of a doctor who has extensive training and experience to handle not only regular eye treatments but also those emergency cases that can save someone’s eye health or vision.