5 Things you need to Know About Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are one of the most common hindrances to eyesight. In fact, 50% of people in the U.S. develop cataracts by age 75.
While cataracts impair your vision, they’re also fully treatable through cataract surgery. This surgery removes these from a person’s eyes, immediately leaving them with improved vision.
Are you preparing to have your cataracts removed? If so, you might wonder what to expect.
Keep reading this guide to learn about five vital things relating to cataract surgery.
1. Cataracts Grow and Worsen
Finding out you have cataracts might leave you confused or worried. However, it would help if you didn’t worry or feel confused. Eye doctors see this eye condition often, and it’s one of many common eye problems.
What are cataracts? A cataract develops on the eye lens. When this occurs, it makes the lens cloudy. You can’t reverse a cataract, but you can have an eye doctor remove it.
Cataracts might affect one eye or both, but they don’t go away independently. Instead, they grow and worsen. Unfortunately, the cloudiness of a cataract impairs vision.
A healthy lens is clear. Its purpose is to refract light rays to help us see things clearly. As a lens loses its clarity and changes into a cloudy lens, it makes a person see less clearly.
You can have cataracts for a while without noticing a vision problem. However, you’ll eventually notice a problem as cataracts worsen. When you experience trouble seeing, you should consider cataract surgery.
2. How the Procedure Works
Having a procedure on your eyes is cause for some concern, but cataract eye surgery is routine, and eye doctors perform this procedure often. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about.
If you want to know how to prepare for cataract surgery, you can find our guide here.
When the procedure begins, the eye doctor will likely place eye drops in your eyes. These drops are local anesthesia helping to numb your eyes. As a result, you won’t feel anything during the procedure.
Next, the surgeon removes the cloudy lens from your eye and replaces it with a new one. The one they place in your eyes is an artificial lens, often called an intraocular lens.
Most doctors use a laser for the procedure, which presents fewer risks, problems, and downtime.
The new lens serves the same purpose as your natural lens, but it’s clear, allowing you to see better again. Artificial lenses are made from acrylic, plastic, or silicone.
When your eyes heal, you won’t notice a difference in your vision, other than that you can see better. The new lens won’t change how you see things or how your eyes work.
3. Short Downtime Afterward
Most people also wonder about the cataract surgery recovery time. For example, how will you feel afterward? Will you be down for a few days?
The good news is that recovery from cataract surgery is fast and simple. However, your eyes might feel itchy and slightly uncomfortable when you initially leave the clinic.
Additionally, your eyes might be more sensitive to light than usual. Of course, you can’t drive home after this procedure, but you should be able to drive within a few days. However, some people wait one week before driving.
You can wear sunglasses afterward if your eyes feel sensitive to light, as this helps relieve that feeling.
In most cases, the irritability you feel in your eyes after the surgery goes away within a few days. At that point, your eyes will likely feel normal. However, your eyes won’t fully heal for around eight weeks.
Your eye doctor might prescribe eye drops to place in your eyes after the surgery. You can follow your doctor’s instructions for these drops and any other after-care instructions they offer.
4. Benefits of Getting Cataracts Removed
Next, you might wonder why people go through cataract surgery. For example, what benefits does it offer?
As you can imagine, the primary benefit is improved vision. You’ll likely see much better if you have trouble seeing due to cataracts. You might even be able to read without using reading glasses afterward.
When you see better, it also provides the benefit of improved quality of life. For example, if you couldn’t drive due to cataracts, you’ll be able to drive again afterward. If this is the case, your quality of life can greatly improve.
Additionally, removing cataracts keeps your eyes healthier, while leaving cataracts in your eyes presents risks.
For example, cataracts can increase the pressure inside your eye, which is negative for your eye health. Additionally, cataracts often cause inflammation and might lead to damaged retinas and other eye issues.
Therefore, removing cataracts reduces your risk of developing other eye problems.
5. Cost of Cataract Surgery
Finally, you might wonder about cataract surgery costs. After all, you’ll need to pay for it. Fortunately, many insurance policies cover the cost of the surgery.
The average cost of cataract surgery is $2,526 per eye. However, this varies. The best way to find out is by visiting an eye doctor for a consultation visit. They can tell you how much it costs and their financing options.
If you’re paying out of pocket, an eye clinic can give you a written quote for the costs of the surgery. If you can’t afford to pay cash upfront, you can look into various financing options.
Learn More About Cataract Surgery
You can find out if you have cataracts by visiting an eye doctor. Your eye doctor might notice cataracts forming in your eyes, but you might not need to get them removed yet.
Most doctors wait until they affect a person’s eyesight before suggesting cataract surgery. However, you can learn more about your eyes and their condition by visiting an eye doctor.