Older couple smiling after cataract surgery

Are you thinking about having cataract surgery? Does the procedure scare you?

First of all, know that worrying about upcoming procedures is normal. Your doctor wants to make sure that you are comfortable with the procedure.

So, make sure to ask them any questions you have. To calm your nerves, let’s learn more about cataract surgery. Here’s cataract surgery 101.

What are cataracts?

When the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy and reduces your vision, you develop cataracts. With cataracts, you can see halos around lights, experience blurry vision, and have difficulty driving at night.

Typically when cataracts first form, they’re small. As your cataracts develop, they grow and start impacting your vision.

How do I prepare for cataract surgery?

When preparing for cataract surgery, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. For example, some doctors want you to stop drinking and eating 12 hours before surgery.

They may also recommend that you stop using any medications that increase bleeding. This could make surgery riskier.

For this reason, please tell your doctor about any of the medications you’re taking. It is important for them to make sure that you can take them and have the procedure.

Finally, your doctor will prescribe eye drops for you to use pre-surgery.

What happens before cataract surgery?

About a week before surgery, you will have an appointment with your doctor. During this appointment, they will conduct an ultrasound on your eyes.

They are looking at the size and shape of your eyes. Also, you and your doctor will work together to select the correct intraocular lens (IOL).

The IOL replaces your eye’s natural lens. You’ll want to select one that gives you the post-surgery vision you want.

Additionally, the lens is what helps light focus on the back part of your eye. There are many different IOLs to pick from.

They come with different features, vision needs, and materials. You want to pick the IOL that is best for you and your lifestyle.

What should I expect during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. It usually lasts for about an hour. When you arrive, your eyes will be dilated and you will receive some numbing eye drops.

If you’re nervous, you may need a sedative to calm you down. During surgery, you are awake but groggy.

In surgery, one of two options will be used to remove your natural lens and insert the IOL. One option involves using an ultrasound stick to break up and remove the lens.

Your surgeon makes a small incision and inserts the ultrasound stick into the lens that has the cataract. The cataract is then broken down and removed through the incision.

Your doctor will leave the back of the lens where it is to keep the IOL in place. Some doctors use stitches to close the incision in your eye.

Option two involves removing the entire lens through the incision and the back of the lens is left to hold the IOL.

How long is the recovery process?

Recovery from cataract surgery is pretty quick. Within the first week, any uncomfortable feelings will go away.

During this time, your vision will also start to stabilize. For most patients, full recovery can take four to six weeks. Make sure to be very careful with your eye during this time as your eyes are more vulnerable to infection and complications.

Are you ready to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN today!