What are Cataracts?
Cataracts develop when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy due to age, injury, or other eye diseases. Cataracts are very common in older people. This lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina, so a cataract would cause the amount of light reaching the retina to diminish. Most of the time, cataracts develop slowly over time, causing vision loss and potential blindness if left untreated. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgical procedures in the world, restoring vision in patients and allowing them to continue their lives unhindered. Many patients notice immediate results following their surgery.
By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. One and a half million people have this procedure every year and 95% have a successful result. As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after surgery and some are severe enough to limit vision. But in most cases, vision, as well as the quality of life improves.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Some common symptoms of cataracts may include:
- Painless blurring of vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Double vision in one eye
- Poor night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery has existed in this world for over a century, but it is the recent innovations in technology that have transformed this into a very safe and effective surgery. It’s great to know that the success rate for cataract surgery is high when you are going into this situation. Today advanced artificial intraocular lenses have allowed patients to recover more youthful eyesight. Instead of dealing with glasses after surgery some patients may have the choice to upgrade to a new premium type of intraocular lens (IOL) that will enable vision at multiple distances.
In addition to the new lens implants available, less invasive surgical techniques have come to fruition to enable much faster healing. Despite the effectiveness of the cataract surgery, the preparation process may take weeks and various decisions will need to be made. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed medical procedures, with over 3 million surgeries performed each year.
Cataract Surgery Choices
Once you have decided to have cataract surgery you will have a number of important decisions to make. The first item on the agenda is to select a skilled cataract surgeon. If you are seeking a cataract surgeon in Jacksonville, Dr. Schnipper would be more than happy to be your surgeon of choice. At Jacksonville Eye Center, we have the most up to date and modern surgery techniques available to our patients. Once you have selected a cataract surgeon it is time to understand what lens implant option will be the best. It’s important to discuss your options with a qualified ophthalmologist. Your options will include monofocal lenses, multifocal IOL’s or accommodating lens implants.
Cataract Surgery Procedure
Before your cataract surgery, your eye must be properly cleaned and dilated. We use a topical anesthetic before we make a small incision. An ultrasonic device will be inserted into the small incision to pulverize the hard yellow proteins that form the cataract and remove them from the eye. Dr. Schnipper will insert a folded intraocular lens through the original incision. This lens will replace your natural lens and stay in place inside your eye, providing you with clear vision after the procedure. You will not be able to feel or sense the implanted lens in any way. The small incision will then self-seal itself without the need for stitches.
It is important that you discuss your vision expectations with your eye surgeon to determine the right premium lens implant for you. The premium lens will be inserted into your eye after your natural lens has been removed. Learn more about the premium lens implants offered at Jacksonville Eye Center.
Cataract Surgery Recovery
Recovering from cataract surgery is fast and relatively easy! Most patients will notice improved vision with their new lens within the first 24 hours. It is important that you follow the postoperative instructions provided by your cataract surgeon. It is important that you refrain from strenuous physical activity and from rubbing your eyes during the first few weeks after surgery.