The surgeon removes the entire lens including the capsule. This method is rarely used.
A person who has cataract surgery will get an artificial lens to replace the lens that has been removed. A plastic disc, called an intraocular lens, is placed in the lens capsule inside the eye. It takes a few months for the eye to heal after cataract surgery.
Other choices are contact lenses and cataract glasses. Your doctor will help you decide which choice is best for you. A cataract can not return since the lens has been removed. It is not unusual for the lens capsule to become cloudy once again. This surgery is painless and does not require a hospital stay. Cataract surgery has a success rate of 95% in patients with otherwise healthy eyes. If you have a cataract in both eyes, most experts say it is best to wait until your first eye heals before proceeding with an operation on the second eye. You will be restricted in movement for a short period of time after the surgery, and practically speaking it takes several months for your eye to heal properly. Your eye doctor will advise you of your recovery timetable.
Disadvantages of not putting a lens
- Patient has to be totally blind before he can be taken for surgery (Economic Losses tremendous).
- Rehabilitation very slow.
- With thick glasses patient is 50% handicapped because of:
- 30% magnification with glass.
- No binocular vision.
- Scotomas, Dark Areas around visual field.
- Vertigo/space disorientation leading to dizziness.
- Minute/Fine work difficult.
- Heavy thick, uncosmetic glasses.
Cataracts – Their symptoms, the problems they cause and what can be done to treat them.
When Leena’s doctor told her that an operation on her eyes to remove cataracts would improve her sight, she shook her head. She didn’t like the idea of an operation on her eyes and she didn’t want to go to hospital.
“No” she told her doctor emphatically. “I can see well enough to walk around – I’ll manage without an operation”. But later that week she began having second thoughts when her family reminded her how many things she used to enjoy had gradually become impossible because of her poor sight. Maybe, if her vision improved she’d be able to watch television and sew again.
Like Leena, many people worry about eye surgery. However, removing cataracts, a problem which generally affects older people is a very common operation. It can be done in a hospital where you may need to stay overnight, or in a day surgery center where you can go home on the same day. When the cataract is removed, it is usually replaced with a plastic lens inside the eye which enables you to see much better, though you may need glasses for certain activities. The surgery isn’t painful either, although some people may feel some discomfort which can be relieved with painkillers.
Detection of cataract
The usual symptoms include blurred vision and difficulty in reading. Sometimes people notice that they can’t see well enough to drive or their eyes may be easily dazzled by light. At times things look distorted.
A cataract is clouding of the lens in the eye, and although the problem occasionally occurs in babies and children, old age is the most common cause. Both smoking and sunlight may increase the risk of cataract. Sometimes, they happen as a result of injury or eye disease or complications associated with diabetes but it is not caused by reading in bad light or by eye strain.
Just because someone has cataract it doesn’t mean it has to be removed immediately. Cataracts could be present without causing any major problems with sight and most people wait until it starts causing problems before having it removed.
If you think you or someone in your family may have a cataract, see your doctor or an optometrist who can refer you to an ophthalmologist for a clear diagnosis.
After the Operation
You will be able to do most things you used to do straight away, as long as it’s nothing too strenuous. The ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops to help your eye recover and ask you to return for regular checkups to make sure everything is okay.
It’s very important to keep these appointments.
Can you ever be too old to have cataracts removed, people have had them removed even in their 90s! Leena was 78 when she was operated, and delighted because she could see so well after it.