What is a Cataract?
What are the symptoms of a Cataract?
You may not notice a slight change in your vision, as
cataract starts out very tiny, but as it grows from the size
of a pin head, you may notice that your vision is becoming
blurry, and you may feel as if you are looking through dirty
eyeglasses. Object edges may appear to fade into one another
and colors may not appear as bright as they should.
The most common symptoms of a cataract are:
Cloudy or blurry vision.
Problems with light, such as headlights that seem too
bright, glare from lamps or very bright sunlight.
Colors that seem faded.
Double or multiple vision.
Frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses.
Optical aids such as eyeglasses or contact lenses are no
How is a Cataract treated?
Cataract surgery is a selective and successful solution to
restoring vision when the cataracts seriously impair your
vision and affect your daily life. Cataract surgery is the
most frequently performed surgery in the United States, with
millions of surgeries done each year. Cataract surgery is a
routine and relatively painless procedure.
Cataract surgery is generally performed on an out patient
basis. You will not need to be hospitalized or put to sleep
for your doctor to perform your surgery. The procedure
normally takes less than 15 minutes and you can return home
shortly after your procedure. Most people will enjoy
improved vision by the day after surgery or within a few
days following the procedure.
To begin, your surgeon will administer a light sedative
which will relax your nerves and keep you comfortable during
the procedure. Anesthetic eye drops will be used to
completely numb the eye. The entire procedure is performed
through an incision that is smaller than 1/8 of an inch and
does not require stitches to heal.
Once the cataract is removed, an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is
placed where the cataract lens was removed, to restore your
sight. Most patients will not require an eye patch and will
not have any discomfort.
Most patients can return to their normal daily routines;
including reading, driving, and exercise, the day after
What causes a Cataract?
It is not completely known why cataracts occur in all
instances but studies on the cause of cataracts will soon
teach us how to more successfully treat and prevent them.
The most commonly known type of cataract is age related.
Ultraviolet light is a known catalyst for the formation
of cataracts, so we recommend wearing 100% UV blocking
sunglasses which will lessen your exposure over time.
Other studies point to people with diabetes as a higher risk
group for cataract development than those who do not suffer
Cigarettes, air pollution, heavy drug usage and severe
alcohol consumption may also contribute to your chances of
Can I be too young or old for Cataract surgery?
Any patient who can undergo a thorough eye examination can
undergo surgery if the procedure is performed with topical
How do I decide whether to have surgery?
Fortunately, cataracts are not life threatening so most people have plenty of time to decide about cataract surgery. However, we cannot make your decision for you, but talking with us can help in your decision. Together, we can ascertain how your cataract affects your vision and your life. If any of the below applies to you, then please contact us for a consultation.
- I need to drive, but I see too much glare from the sun or headlights.
- I do not see well enough to do my best at work.
- I do not see well enough to do the things I need to do at home.
- I have trouble trying to read, watch TV, sew, play cards, etc.
- I am afraid I will bump into something or fall.
- Because of my cataract, I am not as independent as I desire.
- My glasses do not help me see well enough.
- My eyesight interferes with many of my daily functions.
- You may also have other specific problems that we will discuss with you.
Is Cataract surgery right for me?
Most people who have a cataract recover from surgery with no problems and improved vision. This type of surgery has a success rate of 98 percent in patients with otherwise healthy eyes. If you have a cataract in both eyes, we
believe it is best to wait until your first eye heals before having surgery on the second eye. If the eye that has a cataract is your only working eye, we will weigh very carefully the benefits and risks of cataract surgery.
You will be able to make the right decision for yourself if you know the facts. We are more than happy to explain anything you do not understand. There is no such thing as a "dumb" question when it comes to your health.
How soon can I drive after the surgery?
We will require that you have someone drive you home
following your procedure. However, you may drive when you
feel comfortable enough to drive safely, possibly the next
Do I have to avoid all activities post-operatively?
No. We typically demonstrate to the patients that they can
bend over immediately after surgery, pick up 20-30 pounds,
and shower provided they don't get water into their
operative eye. We do ask that they wear an eye shield at
bedtime for the first few weeks after surgery so they do not
inadvertently rub the eye during sleep. Typical follow-up
evaluations are scheduled at 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6
weeks with glasses being prescribed between the 3rd and 6th
Does Cataract surgery hurt?
The treatment itself is painless. We will place a few
numbing drops in your eye(s) to make you more comfortable.
What else should I know about surgery?
We will discuss in the greatest detail your options before choosing the best technique for your surgery. We will also explain how to prepare for surgery and how to take care of yourself after it is over.
Cataract surgery is outpatient. You do not need to stay overnight in a hospital. However, you will need a friend or family member to take you home. You may need someone to stay with you for a day to help you follow your doctor's instructions.
With modern cataract surgery, most patients have fast visual recovery. Some patients are even able to drive themselves to see doctor for follow-up the day after surgery. Remember that the follow-up is very important. We will thoroughly check your progress and make sure you have the care you need until your eye recovers fully.
Will I still need glasses or contact lenses?
You may need glasses or other corrective lenses after the
procedure on a temporary or permanent basis. Cataract
surgery will not prevent, and may unmask, the need for