CATARACT EXAM, MANAGEMENT & SURGERY
Clearing Up Cataracts
We often associate cataracts with old age, which makes sense, as ageing does contribute to cataracts. But what do you think constitutes old age? 75? 80?
Cataracts could affect you younger than you think: most people over 40 have some level of cataract development. So what do you do when cataracts start to affect your life?
How Do Cataracts Form
When you’re born, your eye’s natural lens is made of proteins and water. The proteins are spaced evenly enough to let light travel through to the retina. As you age, however, the proteins start to restructure; moving closer together and making an increasingly opaque film. The more opaque the lens becomes, the less light can penetrate it, the more difficult it is to see.
When Do Cataracts Become a Problem?
Although cataracts do make it difficult to see, most patients can live with them up to a point. Changing your eyeglass prescription and simple lifestyle changes like reading large print books can help. But once these things stop making a difference, cataracts become a problem. At that point, it’s time pursue surgery.
If you need cataract surgery, we’ll happily talk you through it, answer all your questions, and refer you to an experienced and trustworthy ophthalmologist to perform your procedure.
Cataract Surgery is an Extremely Effective Solution
The purpose of cataract surgery is to replace your natural cloudy lens with a clear artificial lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). The surgery is done one eye at a time with at least a few days in between.
The ophthalmologist begins the procedure by using a small, handheld ultrasonic device to break up your natural lens. Once they have removed all the pieces, they’ll insert the IOL through a small incision in the side of the cornea. The IOL will function just like your natural lens did, but with the majority of your vision’s original clarity and colour intensity restored.
Recovering From Cataract Surgery
You’ll be given an eye shield to protect your eye when you leave the ophthalmologist; you’ll have to leave it on for at least a day. You should also tape it back on when you sleep for the first week or so, to avoid damaging the eye.
You may experience blurriness or visual distortion the first day or so after your surgery. It’s also not uncommon to notice bruising around the eyes or redness in the eyes. These things are all normal and will subside within a few days.
Our office will follow up with you shortly after your surgery to ensure everything went well and you’re healing the way you’re supposed to. Once the eye is a little more healed, we’ll perform an examination to determine whether you still need correction or not, and what your prescription should be.