What is a Cataract?
A Cataract is a clouding of our natural lens of the eye. Most cataracts are related to aging and are far more common in older people. Just like with a camera, our eyes contain a lens to help you to focus on things whether they are nearby or far away. To work well, the lens must be clear. As we age, the lens of our eye gradually becomes cloudy and forms a cataract.
Looking through a cloudy lens is like looking through a dirty window — everything is blurred. Often, patients with cataracts notice difficulty with reading and driving. Night vision may also be diminished with halos or glare around lights. There may also be a general reduction in color and contrast.
By the time you reach your 60s, you may have already developed at least mild cataracts. Early on, the cataract not only makes vision cloudy, but it also makes the lens a little thicker and typically, more near-sighted. In the early stages of cataract development, changing eyeglass prescription may improve vision for a time. Ultimately however, cataract surgery may be the best option to restore sight, function, and quality of vision.
What is Cataract Surgery?
At Florida Eye Specialists we perform the procedure in our state of the art surgery center using a “no-stitch, no-shot, no-patch clear cornea” technique. Cataract surgery is a two-step procedure—first our surgeons remove the cloudy lens, and second, insert a new lens implant in the eye. The cloudy lens is removed with a tiny instrument that enters the eye through a small incision— less than one-eighth of an inch —and breaks the cataract into tiny pieces that are then removed from the eye with a miniature vacuum cleaner. Once the cataract is out, you will need a new lens in order to focus after surgery. Artificial lens implants are used to restore your ability to focus after surgery. These implants come in many different strengths, like eyeglasses. Before cataract operation, we will perform several measurements to determine the appropriate lens implant strength to custom fit the eye.
Cataract surgery is a 15-minute outpatient procedure. Fortunately, with surgical and technological advances, it is very safe and effective. Chance of a serious complication with cataract surgery is rare, about 1 in 1000, making it one of the safest medical procedures.
Recovery from surgery is quick. Patients are back on their feet the same day, take it easy for a few days, and use eye drops to help with healing for a few weeks. Surgery is performed on one eye at a time and typically we wait two weeks in between to ensure the first eye is healing well and doing well.