Eye doctors will agree that patients should not neglect their cataracts. At a certain point, the only remedy for cataracts is surgery to remove them. If the cataract has caused vision to become so impaired that you cannot complete everyday tasks successfully, you have likely reached the stage of requiring cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). There are a variety of IOL types offered at Pendleton Eye and a thorough discussion with your ophthalmologist will help you determine which lens is best for you based on your vision and lifestyle needs that may include astigmatism, night driving and other eye conditions. Lens options include monofocal, multifocal, extended depth-of-focus, accommodative, toric and light-adjustable lenses.
The eye will be numbed either by an injection or with eye drops before surgery; you may also receive additional medication to help keep you relaxed during the procedure. Using a blade or laser, the surgeon will create a small incision in the eye. Next, a small ultrasound device is inserted through the incision to break up the lens with the cataract. The tiny fragments of the broken-up lens are removed from the eye by a suction device and then a new lens is implanted. Some patients require stitches, some do not. A special shield is then placed over the eye for healing.
You may notice that the step-by-step instruction of surgery only mentions one eye, although it is not uncommon to develop cataracts in both eyes simultaneously. Why is cataract surgery done one eye at a time? The eye that has received treatment needs time to heal properly as it adjusts to the intraocular lens. It is out of precaution that the surgeon allows for vision to stabilize before performing surgery on the other eye. Because vision is affected temporarily by cataract surgery, only 1 eye is corrected at a time. During recovery, the eyes will be out of harmony with one another as 1 eye heals and one is still affected by the cataract. This occurrence is known as anisometropia, meaning the measure of vision is not equal. In most cases, patients will need to wait between 2 to 6 weeks for the first eye to heal completely before proceeding with cataract surgery on the other eye. The main reasoning is to ensure vision is restored without complications.
To learn more how Pendleton Eye can improve your visual function and quality of life with cataract surgery, call our office at 760-758-2008 or search our website at WEBSITE.