June is Cataract Awareness Month with Access Eye Centers

During Cataract Awareness Month Access Eye Centers wants you to know…

What Is A Cataract?
A cataract is when the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy and yellow, which in turn clouds the vision.

When Should I Have Cataract Surgery?
Most people choose to have cataract surgery based on the degree to which vision is impaired and impacts quality of life.

What Is Involved In Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in a surgery center.  You will be at the surgical facility for about three hours; however, the actual cataract surgery takes about 15 minutes.  You will be lightly sedated and your eye anesthetized so you can feel comfortable during surgery, however, you will still be awake during the procedure.

During cataract surgery the physician uses a small ultrasound instrument to break up the cataract and gently remove it from the eye.  All this is done through a tiny incision, which usually requires no stitches.  In replacement of the natural lens/cataract that has been removed, everyone receives an intraocular lens implant (IOL).  This lens is implanted inside the eye and intended to stay.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and the most successful surgeries performed today and is the most performed out-patient procedure.

A friend or family member will need to bring you in, stay during your procedure, and take you home the day of surgery.

What is a Lens Implant?
An intraocular lens implant (IOL) is an artificial lens that is implanted at the time of cataract surgery.  It replaces the natural lens to restore vision. There are several types of lens implants that your doctor will review with you. A basic monofocal IOL is an intraocular lens that can restore vision at either distance or near. This implant is also referred to as the standard implant.  With the standard, single-vision lens implants, there is a very high likelihood that you will need glasses for near-vision activities after surgery, even if you do not wear near-vision glasses before surgery.

Some advanced lens options treat astigmatism in addition to the cataract.  If it is determined you have significant enough astigmatism to require this type of implant, then this technology will provide you with better quality of vision at one distance, either near or far, with less dependence on your glasses.

Presbyopia is the condition in which the lens in the eye hardens and loses the ability to focus from distance to near.  This condition will eventually affect everyone. A multifocal IOL is an intraocular lens that can restore both distance and near vision, offering the possibilities of little or no dependency on glasses. Medicare and private insurance provide basic coverage for the standard IOP, and allow you to pay for the upgrade, if you choose to do so.

What To Expect After Surgery.
The healing eye needs time to adjust so that it may focus properly.  Your vision may be blurry for a couple of days afterward. You may return to most of your normal activities within one to two weeks.