Are you thinking it may be time to have cataract surgery? Is the thought of being awake during the procedure worrisome?
Having these worries before a procedure like cataract surgery is understandable. That’s why it makes sense to know what you can expect before you have the procedure.
It’s a known fact that when you know what to expect with something, you have less to be afraid of. Keep reading to get a better idea of what to expect during cataract surgery!
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy. This minimizes your ability to see.
Cataracts can make you have blurry vision, see halos around light, and make it difficult to drive at night. If your cataracts are interfering with your life, then your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.
How Do You Prepare For Cataract Surgery?
Some doctors recommend that you avoid eating or drinking for 12 hours before surgery. Also, you might be told to stop taking any medications that can cause bleeding during the surgery.
Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking to make sure that they are okay to continue taking. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops for you to use in the days leading up to your procedure.
What Happens Before The Procedure?
At least a week before cataract surgery, you will have an appointment with your doctor. They will do an ultrasound of your eyes to get the accurate size and shape of them.
You will also work with your doctor to pick out the correct intraocular lens (IOL). Picking out an IOL is an important part of the cataract surgery process.
This is what controls what your vision will be like after cataract surgery. An IOL replaces the natural lens in your eye. IOLs help the light focus in the back of your eye.
IOLs come with all sorts of different features, materials, and visual desires. It is important to pick out the IOL that works best for you and your lifestyle.
How Am I Prepped Before Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery that usually takes under an hour. For optimal healing, you will only have one eye operated on at a time.
The second eye will be operated on a few weeks later when the first one has healed. Before the procedure, your doctor will put eye drops in to dilate your eyes.
You will also receive a local anesthetic to numb your eyes. Also, some patients get a sedative. You can be awake during cataract surgery but the sedative makes you tired.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
During surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision to break up the lens and remove the pieces of the lens. There are two options for removing the natural lens.
The first option is using ultrasound waves to break up the natural lens, in a process called phacoemulsification. Your doctor will make a tiny cut in your eye and the probe is inserted into the lens where the cataract is.
The probe then breaks up the cataract and removes the pieces. The back of the lens stays in the eye to hold the IOL in place.
Your doctor may use stitches to close the cut in your cornea. The second option involves making an incision and then removing the entire lens at once. Like the first option, the back of the lens is left in place to hold the IOL.
Within a few days after having cataract surgery, you should notice vision improvements. If you experience any problems, contact your doctor immediately.
Do you feel prepared to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio, TX now! If you have cataracts and want to see clearly, cataract surgery is the answer!