If the lens becomes cloudy, the light reaching the retina is blurred and distorted, and your vision is affected. This clouded lens is called a cataract, and it must be removed before vision can be restored. A clouded lens can be compared to a window that is frosted or “fogged” with steam. Cataracts are not cancerous. They can be treated with a surgical procedure that has become a fairly common procedure in the United States.
The two most common types of cataracts are: the cortical cataract and a posterior subcapsular cataract. Depending on the type of cataract, a patient will experience different vision problems, but the most common cataract symptoms include:
- blurring vision
- sensitivity to light or glare
- double vision in one eye
- poor night vision
- needing brighter light to read
- experiencing fading or yellowing of colors.
Most patients can have their cataract surgery done through The New York Eye Surgical Center. On the day of surgery, you will be given medication to calm and relax you.
The area surrounding your eye will be cleansed and sterile drapes will be placed over you, exposing only the eye to be operated on.
Topical anesthesia in which the eye surface is numbed with drops or a gel-like substance is most often used for modern cataract surgery. You might have a local anesthetic consisting of small injections around your eye. General anesthesia is also available. The surgery is essentially painless. The surgeon will use a microscope to magnify the delicate procedures to be performed.
Later in the day you will be released, and you can resume normal, moderate activity as soon as you feel up to it.
When you return home, you will begin using your eye drops as prescribed. You may be instructed to wear glasses or sunglasses during the day, and an eye shield at night or when showering to protect the eye.