Cataract is one of the leading causes of visual decline in people above the age of 60. The most common cause of cataract is natural aging. Other less common causes of cataracts include trauma, steroid use, metabolic abnormalities and infections.
What is a cataract? Human eyes have a natural lens inside the eye that helps us focus and see things. Due to the natural aging process or the above-mentioned causes, that natural lens can become cloudy and interfere with vision. And that is what is known as a cataract.
What are the symptoms? Symptoms of cataracts can vary in individuals. People can start having difficulty with activities of daily living such as night driving, watching TV, reading, computer work etc. One can often notice a gradual decline in vision and progression of these symptoms.
What is the cure for cataracts? The treatment for cataracts is surgical. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures performed in medicine today. It is a 10-minute painless surgery that does not require any needles or sutures in most cases. During the surgery, a tiny self-sealing incision is made to remove the cataract. After removing the cataract, an artificial lens is implanted in the eye that replaces the natural lens via the same small incision. All incisions can be made with a Laser instead of a surgical blade.
Do you still have to wear glasses after cataract surgery? Over the years cataract surgery has advanced greatly. The newest invention is Laser Guided Cataract Surgery. This has allowed me to use an unparalleled level of precision during the procedure. It also allows me to use less sound waves during the surgery which can generate excessive amounts of heat that can cause damage to interior structures of the eye. Laser can correct astigmatism simultaneously during the cataract surgery as well which allows patients to have a better range of vision without glasses. I also offer my patients Multifocal and astigmatism correcting Toric lenses, that in many cases, can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses after cataract surgery. Meticulous testing and measurements are performed in order to customize the right options for each individual.
What is the recovery like? It is an outpatient surgery where patients can return home minutes after the surgery is finished. Most of my patients return to their activities of daily living like driving, working, cooking, watching TV etc within 24 to 48 hours after surgery. I always see everyone my patients in my office within 24 hours of the surgery to give them more individualized instructions to help them heal the best way possible.
Lastly, cataracts do not come back and if you do not have other eye problems, you will enjoy excellent vision for the rest of your life.
Surjeet Singh MD
Cataract and LASIK surgeon