If you have blurry vision, you may have cataracts. Caused by a clouded lens in the eye, cataracts distort your vision to make images appear hazy, much like a smudged lens on glasses. The good news is that clear vision is just a short surgery away. How long does cataract surgery take per eye? 

Cataract surgery is a procedure in which clouded or discolored eye lenses are removed and replaced with artificial lenses. Most cataract cases are due to aging, but some are caused by injuries that damage the lens. Cataracts can also stem from inherited diseases or long-term steroid use. Cataracts can affect different areas of the lens, including the front, center, side or back. No matter the cause or type though, cataracts can have a serious impact on your vision. 

To determine if cataract surgery is right for you, your eye doctor will perform an eye exam and consultation. Your eye will be measured to find the best fit of artificial lens implant. On the day of surgery, you will likely be asked to fast prior to your procedure time. While you won’t receive anesthesia, you’ll receive medication to relax you, as well as eye drops to numb the area so you don’t feel any pain. During the surgery, your doctor will make a tiny incision in your eye, usually with a laser, and then use a probe to break up the clouded lens. Once the old lens is removed, the artificial lens will be inserted in its place and then the incision will be closed. Following surgery, you’ll need to stay at the outpatient center for a short observation period before you head home. You will not be able to drive yourself because your vision will remain blurred temporarily. 

Overall, cataract surgery takes about 10-20 minutes per eye. Even including pre-surgical preparation and post-surgical recovery time, you can easily be in and out in under 90 minutes. Recovery will take significantly longer, though. Plan on taking it easy for the first few days following surgery; you should not bend over, lift heavy things or press on your eye. You will be given eye drops to use for the first few days following surgery, and an eye shield to wear while sleeping for the first week. Soon after you can resume most normal activities, although full recovery usually takes about 8 weeks.