Millions of people develop cataracts at some point in their lifetime. Cataract removal is one of the leading ophthalmic procedures for that very reason. Once the natural lens of the eye starts to become clouded with cataracts, there is no stopping the progression of this condition. Only treatment. Because the timing of cataract surgery is completely in the patient’s hands, we often see people let their vision become much worse than need be. The reasons for putting off cataract removal may come down to two things. First, because vision degrades slowly, a patient may not realize how much they’re missing in their day-to-day life. The second reason surgery may be put off is that it simply feels intimidating to have eye surgery. Here, we discuss what patients can expect when they choose to consult with an ophthalmologist about their cataracts.
Before Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is not a procedure you can just call our office and get on the books. First, we want to consult with you about your condition. A comprehensive consultation and examination are performed to provide you with all the information you need to decide to have or not have cataract surgery. Once you decide that it’s the right time for you to get your vision back, the next step is to take measurements of your eye and vision, and to discuss the options for intraocular lenses that are applicable to your situation. Your intraocular lens is the artificial lens that will replace the one that has become cloudy. This lens is made with the right focusing power for your needs.
The Cataract Surgery Procedure
One of the biggest concerns about cataract surgery, as we mentioned, is having a procedure done on the eye. The process can be somewhat odd but, rest assured, it is not painful. Before beginning, the team applies eye drops that numb the eye. After this, there is no pain. There may be a mild sensation of pressure, though, which can feel odd. It can also feel strange to have your eye open during the procedure. To maintain optimal comfort, a mild sedative may also be administered about half an hour before the surgery. It takes only a few minutes to exchange the clouded lens with its appropriate intraocular lens. After the procedure, you may stay in the office for a short while so we can observe your initial recovery.
Cataract Surgery Recovery
Dr. Croley may prescribe special eye drops for you to use in the first several days of recovery. You may also wear a patch over the eye for a few days. This prevents accidental bumping, and it can help prevent debris from getting into the eye as it heals. Until the eye has healed, you may be advised to avoid strenuous activities. You may also have to avoid driving for a short time. While vision is clear immediately after surgery, it can take a few weeks to acclimate to the new intraocular lens.
Do you have some confusion about cataract surgery that we can clear up? Contact our Ocala office at (352) 237-8400 to schedule your consultation.