Do you have cataracts and need to have cataract surgery to remove them? You may have questions about how the procedure works.
You may also be unsure if cataracts can come back after being removed. The good news is that your cataracts can’t come back after cataract surgery.
Your cataract surgeon completely removes the natural, cloudy lens and implants an intraocular lens (IOL) in its place. There’s no way for a cataract to develop on an IOL.
IOLs are artificial lenses that take over the job the once clear natural lens had. You won’t have to worry about it getting cloudy or turning yellow over time. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery!
Cataracts form when proteins in the eye break down and start developing and clumping together on the natural lens. When the lens becomes more opaque, it prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina.
Due to this, the lens will become cloudy and more challenging to see through, impacting your vision. Almost everyone will develop cataracts as they get older. Some of the signs of cataracts include:
- Blurry vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Double vision in one eye
- Yellowing and fading of colors
- Seeing halos and glare around lights
- Having trouble while driving at night
- Frequent prescription changes
Usually, cataracts progress slowly over many years, with the symptoms gradually worsening. Prescription glasses or contacts can aid with symptoms such as blurry vision.
But as cataracts continue advancing, using visual aids will no longer help. Having cataract surgery is the only effective treatment that can eliminate cataracts and restore your clear vision.
Although you cannot have cataracts after cataract surgery, you may develop a “secondary” cataract, known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). A film or haze may appear on your artificial lens after implantation, requiring a quick laser treatment.
PCO can develop anywhere from 3-6 months after cataract surgery or could take several years after cataract removal, depending on a patient’s individual body chemistry.
Cataracts occur naturally, typically due to age. However, other factors can increase your risk of developing cataracts, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Alcohol consumption
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Certain eye injuries
- Excessive sun exposure
- Long-term use of steroid medications
There is no way to guarantee you’ll never develop cataracts. However, you can lower your risk of developing them earlier by following a healthy lifestyle.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll go home after it’s over. The procedure only takes about 30 minutes to complete.
After it’s over, you’ll need someone to drive you home, as you’re not allowed to operate a vehicle on the day of cataract removal.
Your cataract surgeon at Evergreen Eye Center will gently break up your natural lens into pieces and remove it from the eye during cataract surgery.
Removing the natural lens is the only way to remove your cataract. In its place, they will place an intraocular lens. An IOL is an artificial lens that replaces the focusing power of your natural lens.
If you have cataracts in both eyes, you’ll have cataract surgery on each eye separately. You’ll have the second cataract removed after the first eye finishes healing.
Technology advancements have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures. There are various options when it comes to cataract removal. At Evergreen Eye Center, we offer Comfortec cataract surgery with different options to our patients:
Comfortec Cataract Surgery™
Comfortec cataract surgery uses cutting-edge techniques that don’t require needle sticks, IVs, and sutures. Removing the need for these reduces the risk of complications during cataract surgery for a procedure with an already impressively high success rate.
Comfortec technology is also less invasive and gentler on your eyes. Patients that undergo a Comfortec procedure have less inflammation, increased comfort, a faster recovery, and the best visual outcomes.
One of the more frustrating parts of undergoing cataract surgery is dealing with a month-long routine of eye drops after the procedure. These drops have to be applied at strict intervals, several times daily, to reduce inflammation and prevent infection in the eye.
If you can’t wait to enjoy clear vision once more but don’t look forward to using drops after cataract removal, Comfortec cataract surgery eliminates the need for an eye drop routine.
During a Comfortec cataract procedure, your surgeon will administer medicine inside your eye to ensure you can recover without needing eye drops. These include both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops.
The medication works in your eye even after cataract surgery, offering protection as your eye heals. Some of the benefits of dropless cataract surgery include:
- You won’t be overwhelmed by a detailed and strict eye drop schedule
- Saving money on prescription drops
- Less corneal toxicity
- Lower risk of infection, inflammation, and retinal swelling caused by hygiene issues or non-compliance with drops
- Simplifies post-operative care
Most patients respond well to dropless cataract surgery. However, some people may still require anti-inflammatory drops if they experience inflammation after cataract removal.
If you are not a candidate for Comfortec cataract surgery, we also offer “less drops” as an option. Dropless cataract surgery isn’t recommended for patients with allergies to the type of drops used or those with severe glaucoma. Not all patients will be good candidates for dropless Comfortec cataract surgery.
Less drops can be a great alternative if you don’t qualify for dropless Comfortech cataract surgery. Cataract surgery patients must use three different eye drops to decrease inflammation and prevent infection.
Less drops cataract surgery combines three products into one. It’s administered three times per day, which is more convenient and hassle-free than applying three separate drops four times in one day.
Choosing the less drops option will help you save money while continuing to provide you with the same effects as using individual drops. The advantages of less drops in cataract surgery include:
- Spending less on post-surgical eye drops
- Decreases the risk of infection and retinal swelling
- Gives you the protection needed throughout the healing process without having to use different drops multiple times per day
Have you been diagnosed with cataracts that are now becoming a problem? You don’t have to live with vision loss from cataracts.
Our top eye surgeons at Evergreen Eye Center can help you determine the cataract surgery option that’s best for your eyes and unique needs. Learn more about cataract surgery and if it’s time to have your cataracts removed by scheduling a cataract consultation at Evergreen Eye Center now!