A cataract is a clouding of the lens that gradually leads to vision loss. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40. Cataract treatment may involve using glasses or other visual aids in its early stages, followed by cataract surgery. Get the answers you need to take control of your health from our up-to-date, complementary cataract resources from a Local Ophthalmologists.
There are many eye conditions that may require surgery, including glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will help you understand more about surgical procedures and determine if you’re a candidate.
Types of Eye Surgery
As we age, some of the proteins that make up the lens of the eye may clump together and cloud a small area of the lens causing blurred or tinted vision. This is a cataract! Most cataracts are related to aging, but certain diseases or behaviors may also increase your risk of developing the condition. Diabetes, smoking, alcohol use or extended sun exposure can all increase one’s risk of developing a cataract. If you are experiencing cataract symptoms, consult an ophthalmologist to see if treatment is necessary.
Early cataract symptoms can be very easy to treat. New eyeglasses, better lighting, magnifying lenses, and sunglasses are all simple ways to improve vision problems caused by cataracts, but if these treatments do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment.
Cataract removal surgery is performed by a Local Ophthalmologists Diabetes only necessary if the cataract symptoms affect normal activities such as driving, reading, or looking at computer or video screens, even with glasses. Cataracts typically do not harm the eye, so waiting for a convenient time to have surgery is acceptable.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in Canada today. During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist removes the clouded lens of the eye and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis. If cataracts are present in both eyes, they are typically treated four to eight weeks apart.
Prior to surgery, patients receive numbing eye drops and a sedative. The surgeon then makes a small incision in the eye and removes the cataract via one of two methods:
- In phacoemulsification, the more common method, the surgeon uses an instrument that emits ultrasonic waves to break down the lens into a liquid. The emulsified lens is then suctioned from the eye.
- In extracapsular cataract extraction, the surgeon makes a larger incision and manually breaks the lens into smaller pieces, which he or she then suctions out of the eye.
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Laser eye surgery: Laser refractive surgery or laser eye surgery to treat nearsightedess, farsightedness or astigmatism is constantly advancing. There are three types of laser eye surgery available: PRK, LASIK and SMILE. All three of these laser refractive surgeries reshape the front part of the eye called the cornea.
Cataract surgery: A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataracts usually develop slowly, causing a painless and gradual decrease in vision as the lens of the eye prevents light rays from properly passing through. This outpatient surgical procedure involves your ophthalmologist making a small incision and using phacoemulsification (ultrasound) to remove the cataract. Generally, you’ll wear a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) to help your replacement lens focus.
Healthy eyes depend on regular visits to your optometrist for eye exams, and if necessary, an ophthalmologist for certain eye conditions and surgeries like diabetic retinopathy . You can also protect your eyesight with proper nutrition, eating foods that contain the right vitamins. Local Optometrists may prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, provide laser eye surgery consultations, and test for diseases. Local Ophthalmologist can help with many facts of eye diseases. Getting a referral from your optometrist to a local ophthalmologist is crucial to eye care.