What Are Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens. The lens sits behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). There are several different types of cataracts including nuclear sclerosis, cortical spoking, posterior and anterior subcapsular cataracts.

Symptoms of a cataract may include:

  • Painless blurring of vision
  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Need for brighter or more light to read
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

Additional causes may include:

  • Family history
  • Medical conditions (like diabetes)
  • Eye injury
  • Use of steroid medications
  • Ultraviolet light exposure
  • Previous eye surgery

Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can only be removed surgically. Cataract surgery is performed at the surgical center or hospital operating room.

How Cataract Surgery is Performed:

  1. Your eye will be dilated.
  2. An IV will be started to administer anesthetics.
  3. You will be put to sleep for a few minutes to numb your eye.
  4. You will be awake during the surgery. However, if you feel like you are too awake, you may ask for more anesthetic.
  5. A speculum will be used to hold your eye open.
  6. A tiny incision is made through the cornea.
  7. A part of the lens capsule is removed.
  8. An instrument called a phaco emulsifier is used to break up the cataract into small pieces.
  9. The cataract pieces are removed with an aspirator.
  10. The surgeon then polishes the lens capsule.
  11. An intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted and adjusted into position.
  12. Your eye will be patched with an antibiotic ointment overnight.

After Cataract Surgery

You will use eye drops for the first few weeks following cataract surgery to prevent infection and inflammation. All post-operative care will be given by your cataract surgeon. It is important that you keep all of your appointments to ensure a great outcome.