We all get cataracts as a result of aging. They are just a part of life. Cataract surgery is a tried and true method of dealing with your cataracts.
Although it’s a common surgical procedure, it’s normal to feel some anxiety around it. Sometimes shedding light on the unknown can help make something like cataract surgery less scary.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect during cataract surgery!
What Are Cataracts?
To understand cataract surgery, you have to know why people undergo the procedure. Cataracts are usually age-related, although they can develop for other reasons as well.
In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. More than 24 million Americans older than 40 are affected by cataracts. By the age of 80, an estimated half of all Americans will have or have had cataracts.
Cataracts occur inside the lens of the eye, located behind the pupil. Like a camera lens, the lens of your eye focuses light. It is a critical component to vision, as it is flexible and can move to adjust your focal points.
Healthy lenses have proteins inside of them that exist in a way so that light can pass through them. But as we age, these proteins begin to change and break down.
When the proteins change, they begin to clump together. At first, this does not have a noticeable effect.
As the clumps grow, they begin to block and disrupt light that enters the lens. Without access to light, vision becomes dim and blurry, especially at night.
How Cataract Surgery Works
The growth of cataracts is generally very gradual and may occur over the course of years or decades. When your cataracts begin affecting your vision, it’s time to have them removed.
The name cataract surgery can be slightly misleading for patients. It does involve removing the cataract.
But it also involves removing the entire lens of the eye. Since the cataracts are essentially part of your lens, the entire lens must also be removed.
During the surgery, your eye will be numbed completely. You do not need to worry about feeling pain, although you may feel some slight discomfort.
Most discomfort occurs at the beginning when the surgeon creates a flap on the cornea. After creating the flap, they will then use a laser to break apart the lens. Suction is then used to remove the pieces of the lens.
You still need a lens to see. This is why IOLs are an important part of having cataract surgery. Intraocular lenses replace the natural lens of the eye.
Thanks to IOLs, cataract surgery patients can see clearly once more. There are different types of IOLs, some of which can enhance your vision beyond the need for glasses!
Concerned that you may need cataract surgery? The only way to know is to have a cataract screening. Schedule yours at Westlake Eye Specialists in Austin, TX!
Isn’t it time to stop dealing with the frustrating symptoms of your cataracts, once and for all?