Cataracts Seattle | Cataract Surgery Tacoma | Evergreen Eye

Cataracts

Cataracts cause a gradual worsening in symptoms like blurry or cloudy vision, decreased night vision, and glare from light sources. At Evergreen Eye Center, our dedicated and experienced cataract surgeons can restore your vision through cataract surgery using advanced technology.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a part of the eye’s natural aging process and often begin to develop around age forty. A cataract occurs when the eye’s clear lens becomes cloudy and causes vision to become blurry.

When you have cataracts, you may feel like you are looking through a foggy window. Once cataracts develop, it becomes more challenging to do everyday tasks, including reading and other tasks at near.

Many people with cataracts will also experience difficulty seeing in low lighting, and many struggle to see when driving at night. The symptoms of cataracts will gradually worsen over time as the cataracts advance.

The best way to reverse the symptoms of cataracts is cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that effectively restores vision.  If cataracts remain untreated, they will continue to block more and more light that enters the eye and cause your vision to worsen. The experienced eye physicians at Evergreen Eye Center can remove your cataracts and replace them with artificial lenses to restore your vision. 

What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?

Older woman being examined for cataracts

There are many symptoms of cataracts, and symptoms can differ from person to person. Some of the symptoms of cataracts include: 

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Double vision
  • Glare from light sources
  • Starbursts or haloes around lights
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Difficulty reading without additional light

Many people with cataracts also report that colors appear dull or yellow. People with cataracts may experience several of these symptoms, while others may only have increased blurry vision.

It is essential to see an eye doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Your eye doctor at Evergreen Eye Center can evaluate your eyes to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing result from cataracts.  

What Causes Cataracts?

Several factors can contribute to the early or rapid development of cataracts. However, everyone will develop cataracts eventually.

Certain medical problems, including diabetes, smoking, and some radiation treatments, may cause cataracts to develop more quickly. In some cases, previous eye surgery or an eye injury may also contribute to developing cataracts.

The most common cause of cataracts is aging. Most people will begin to experience cataract symptoms starting around age forty.

Will I Need Cataract Surgery?

Though you may be able to manage cataracts with brighter lighting and visual aids at first, they will not go away on their own. Cataracts will eventually impair vision and significantly interfere with your daily activities. 

When you are first diagnosed with cataracts, they may not be advanced enough to warrant cataract surgery right away. Your eye doctor will continue to monitor your cataracts at routine visits.

When your cataracts begin to affect your vision greatly enough that it is interfering with your life, your eye doctor will likely recommend cataract surgery. They will also discuss the many different artificial lens options that will replace your natural lens during cataract surgery. 

What Happens Before Cataract Surgery?

Before embarking on cataract surgery, you will need a comprehensive eye exam. During this exam, your eye doctor will examine the overall health of your eyes and identify any risk factors before your surgery. 

The data collected during this evaluation tell your eye doctor the length of your eyes and curvature in your cornea. These measurements will determine the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism in your eyes. 

This exam will help your cataract surgeon select the proper intraocular lens to replace your cloudy lens. Choosing the accurate artificial lens power will give you the best possible vision after surgery. 

Your eye doctor will want to ensure that conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease are under control before surgery. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, particularly anti-clotting drugs or aspirin.  

What Can I Expect During Cataract Surgery?

Doctor performing cataract surgery

Cataract surgery takes twenty to thirty minutes to complete and is an outpatient procedure. Your eye doctor will require someone to drive you home after the procedure and to a follow-up appointment the next day. 

If you have cataracts in both eyes, your eye doctor will operate on one eye first and then the second eye on another date after your first eye has healed. First, your eye doctor will numb your eye with eye drops.

Then they will create a small opening in the round dome at the front of the eye known as the cornea. After, your cataract surgeon will break up your natural lens where the cataract is and remove it. 

Then, they will insert the new artificial lens in its place. Your cataract surgeon will then ensure the proper orientation and placement of the lens.

After this, the procedure is done. The small opening on the cornea will heal naturally, and you will be able to go home the same day. 

Most people notice an improvement in their vision in the first few days after the procedure. Depending on the intraocular replacement lens chosen, you may still need to wear glasses after the operation.

What Can I Do to Ensure Successful Cataract Surgery?

You can take a few easy steps to ensure a successful outcome for cataract surgery. These steps will help minimize complications after surgery and speed up your healing time.

After cataract surgery, it is important that you protect your eye by wearing the bandage or eye shield given by your eye doctor to allow your eye to heal. This shield will keep you from accidentally rubbing your eye.

You will also need to use the eye drops given to you as directed. These drops will help prevent eye infections and ensure proper healing.

You may feel well enough to resume your daily activities, but it is important not to overdo it, especially in the week after surgery. Try to avoid bending, lifting, or intense physical activity until your doctor says it’s okay. 

It is also important to go to your follow-up appointments, even if you feel fine and your vision is doing well. Your eye doctor will need to check the eye to ensure it is healing correctly.

Other steps that can help eyes heal after the procedure include staying out of pools and avoiding getting water in your eye. If you are sensitive to light, wear sunglasses in bright lighting to help. 

It is also essential to know when to call your eye doctor. It is normal to have some blurry vision after surgery, but that should resolve a few days after the procedure. 

Call your eye doctor right away if your vision worsens or you are experiencing increased eye pain, discharge, flashes of light, or swelling that won’t go away. Cataract surgery is a safe and quick procedure that can restore your vision affected by cataracts. 

Are you experiencing symptoms you feel may be due to cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Evergreen Eye Center today! 

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