Cataract Surgery is a procedure that can be used to correct the vision of patients who suffer from a cataract on their eye.
When is Cataract Surgery Needed?
A cataract is a blurring of the natural lens that protects the eye. The blur can cause a number of vision problems, including a lack of detail in color, difficulty seeing a night, in the worst cases it can lead to blindness.
The causes of a cataract developing are varied, but in most cases it occurs simply due to aging. In some cases they can be caused by trauma to the eye or can even be present at birth. Having diabetes, smoking frequently or being outdoors often without sunglasses can also increase the risk of developing a cataract.
For many people cataracts aren’t noticeable at first and will play little or no part in compromising vision. Over time, the cataract can slowly become worse. A checkup with an ophthalmologist can determine if a cataract has gotten bad enough to require surgery. A cataract may be present in both eyes or in some cases only one.
How Does The Surgery Works?
In simple terms, cataract surgery works by removing the protective lens from around the eye. The lens that was obscured by the cataract is discard and is replaced by a synthetic lens.
The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist. Recovery is quick and patients can leave the same day they receive the procedure.
At one time the surgery was always done with scalpel but now a laser is often used instead.
What Are the Risks of Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a safe procedure with few risks. In over 90% of surgeries the procedure is successful in restoring the patient’s vision. In the rare event that something should go wrong, most complications that occur with cataract surgery can be successfully fixed.
The main risks involved are the typical side effects that can occur after surgery, such as infection or inflammation. Often times this can occur post-surgery due to error on the patients part (such as by rubbing the eyes after surgery or spending too much time around bright lights before the eyes have had time to recover).
In most cases surgery will not be done on both eyes at the same time. Surgery will be done on one eye first and then the other at a later time.
The average cost of the surgery is $3,500 but can vary greatly due to your location and your choice of doctor. Also, check to see if your insurance will cover a portion of the cost. Medicare and insurance will often cover this surgery as opposed to LASEK surgery which is often considered elective surgery.
Speak with your doctor about the precautions that should be taken when recovering from a cataract surgery to minimize your risks.