Educating Our Patients Cataracts FAQs
Do you have any difficulty, even with glasses, doing daily activities? If you are suffering from cataracts the experts at Kremer Eye Center can help.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40. To understand more about cataracts and what you can do to treat them, read the answers to our frequently asked questions.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the lens in your eye. Light passes through the lens to the retina, but when protein in the eye creates clumps, the light is unable to pass through, resulting in blurry vision.
How do you treat cataracts?
For most patients, cataract treatment involves an outpatient surgery in which a trained physician places a synthetic lens inside the eye. Typically, this involves making a small incision in the eye, then dissolving and removing the cataract with ultrasound, a technique known as phacoemulsification. A clear, synthetic lens is then put in place of the original lens. Any special treatment or instructions will be discussed prior to surgery.
How long is the recovery period?
Most people can resume normal routines by the next day. You will be provided with a thin, clear shield to wear at bedtime for a week or two.
Does the cataract have to be “ripe”?
The concept of a ripe cataract is outdated. Cataracts should be removed when they cause symptoms. Whether you’re in your 40′s or 50′s, or your 70′s, if a cataract is interfering with your vision, it should be removed.
How will I get to the surgery? Can I drive afterwards?
Patients will not be able to drive after receiving cataract surgery. You will need to schedule a ride for day of surgery.
Why use a lens implant?
When we perform a cataract surgery, the ultrasound dissolves and removes the cataract, which is the natural lens of the eye. Therefore, we use a special intraocular lens (lens implant) to replace the natural lens that was removed.
Is the lens implant permanent?
The lens is intended to be permanent. In most cases, it will not need to be removed.
Will I feel a difference with the lens implant?
No, the lens becomes a part of you. It is as natural in appearance, comfort and durability as your original lens.
Will injections or stitches be needed?
There will be no injections – instead, we use anesthetic drops to numb the eyes. Anesthetic drops eliminate the pain and bruising associated with injections.
Because the incision is so small, it usually does not require stitches.
Can astigmatism be treated at the same time a cataract is removed?
Yes, in most cases. Your doctor will perform a full examination of your vision to determine the best course of action.
Can both eyes be done on the same day?
No. Only one eye is operated on at a time. The second eye can be done approximately two weeks later.
What about Secondary Cataracts?
Unlike traditional cataracts, a secondary cataract does not involve the lens of the eye. In patients with secondary cataracts, the clear membrane that separates the front and back of the eye has become cloudy. To restore visual clarity, an opening is made in the center of the membrane with a Yag laser. The laser dissolves the cloudiness of the membrane and allows light to pass through to the retina.