How can a cataract be treated?
A cataract may not need to be treated if your vision is only slightly blurry. Simply changing your eyeglass prescription may help to improve your vision for a while. There are no medications, eye drops, exercises or glasses that will cause cataracts to disappear once they have formed. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. When you are no longer able to see well enough to do the things you like to do, cataract surgery should be considered.
What is Cataract Surgery?
In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye through a surgical incision. In most cases, the natural lens is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant.
What can I expect if I decide to have cataract surgery?
To determine if your cataract should be removed, your ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye examination. It is advisable to not wait for the cataract to mature i.e. become total as was previously believed because once mature, the cataract can raise the pressure of the eye resulting in lens induced glaucoma which can cause a permanent damage to the optic nerve. Before surgery, your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye.
The Day of Surgery
Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis (day care surgery) in the hospital. When you arrive for surgery, you will be given eye drops and perhaps a mild sedative to help you relax. A local anesthetic will numb your eye. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Your eye will be kept open by an eyelid speculum. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening.
Surgery is performed under an operating microscope. The patient is usually awake, so any small movement such as a cough or simple head adjustment looks like an earthquake under the microscope. It's advisable to stay still & inform surgeon before you move head.
Cataract Surgery – How Do we do it!
Cataract surgery is easy in concept (the opaque natural lens is replaced with artificial lens), but actually performing this surgery is challenging as we're working under a surgical microscope with delicate ocular structures.
Two approaches to cataract surgery are generally used:
Small incision cataract surgery involves making an incision in the side of the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye, and inserting a tiny probe into the eye. The probe emits ultrasound waves that soften and break-up the lens so it can be removed by suction. This process is called
Extracapsular surgery (Manual phaco) requires a somewhat larger incision in the cornea and the lens core is removed in one piece.