Have you noticed a change in your vision or have vision that has become blurry with colors that look faded? If you answered yes, you may have cataracts. Cataracts are common in individuals over the age of 50. Thankfully, cataract surgery with our ophthalmologists can restore your vision.
Signs You Have Cataracts
Cataracts are extremely common in older individuals. They occur when proteins build up on the lens of the eye, causing cloudy or blurry vision. In the early stages, the cataracts may not be visible in a mirror, but as they mature, you may see white spots or spots that look cloudy when you look at your eyes.
- You see glare or halos around lights, especially at night.
- You are having increasing difficulty seeing at night when you drive.
- You can no longer see well enough to read or watch TV.
- Colors appear faded and/or you have noticed blurry vision.
Good Candidates for Cataract Surgery
Good candidates for cataract surgery include individuals who have been told via a routine eye examination that they have cataracts and are experiencing significant vision loss due to the clouding of the lens of the eye. Most people do not start developing cataracts until after the age of 40, but cataracts can develop at any age. Some babies are even born with cataracts.
Treating Early Cataracts
If your vision isn’t significantly impaired, it may be a good idea to wait for cataract removal surgery. During this time glasses and/or contacts can help improve your vision. However, when corrective lenses no longer offer the desired amount of vision correction, our ophthalmologists typically recommend surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Cataract Surgery Risks
Cataract surgery is considered extremely safe. However, all surgeries carry some form of risk. If you notice any of these symptoms after your surgery, it is important to call West Texas Eye Associates right away.
- An eye infection
- Artificial lens moving or becoming dislocated within the eye
- Bleeding or swelling in the eye
- Detachment of the retina
- Development of a secondary cataract
- Development of glaucoma or increased eye pressure
- Slight inflammation of the eye
- Sudden droop of the eyelid
Cataract Surgery with Our Ophthalmologists
Cataract surgery with our ophthalmologists is a relatively simple process that takes about 30 minutes. If you have cataracts in both eyes, you’ll need two appointments as only one eye is done during an individual surgery.
During the surgery, you will be given numbing drops and medication to help you relax. For this reason, you’ll need to have a second driver with you in order to drive you home. Cataract eye surgery involves removing the discolored, cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens that contains your glasses or contact lens prescription. The new lens can contain a fixed or accommodating mono-focal lens, a multi-focal lens or a lens that corrects for astigmatism. This means that once your surgery is complete, you may not need to wear corrective lenses.
A follow-up appointment will be scheduled the next day to test your eyes and ensure they are healing correctly. If you need cataract removal in your other eye, the second appointment is usually scheduled a few weeks after the first eye surgery in order to give the initial eye time to heal.