As we get older our eyes go through a process of aging. You may first start to notice your near vision getting a bit worse and that you need to hold things a little closer. Then you may need to start wearing reading glasses; this is called presbyopia. This is where the lens within the eye cannot flex as well as when we are young and unable to bend into focus and the lens starts to get cloudy.
How Cataracts Can Affect You
As our eyes age further the lens becomes stiff, rigid, and very cloudy, this is called cataracts. If not detected early, cataracts can get so bad you may not be able to see through them and you lose the ability to see clearly, navigate, distinguish between colors and lose contrast.
Ideally, before it gets that bad we would recommend performing cataract surgery to restore your vision. The main aim of cataract surgery is to remove the old lens and replace it with a new artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to improve your vision. A lot of people know about cataracts but aren’t clear on what the surgery actually involves.
The initial stage of cataract surgery is for the eye surgeon to clean and numb the eye and to also dilate the pupil; this is to help the eye surgeon see the cataract clearly. The eye is held open throughout the procedure with a speculum.
Most people are awake during surgery and anesthetic is usually given via eye drops that take seconds to work. You shouldn’t be in any discomfort but may feel pressure and will see a bright light. The surgeon will then make a minute incision, which can be less than 2.2 mm.
A substance called viscoelastic is introduced to stabilize the eye and maintain pressure. The lens capsule is where your natural lens sits, the surgeon will open up a small portion of this to be able to remove the old lens and insert a new lens. Depending on how bad the cataract is, the surgeon may first need to segment the cataract prior to removal.
The removal of the lens is called phacoemulsification (phaco), this is where the eye surgeon will use a machine with an ultrasonic hand piece. The tip of the hand piece vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency which makes the lens substance emulsify which is then irrigated and aspirated out. If needed, the surgeon may then polish the capsule prior to inserting the new intraocular lens. The new lens is usually folded within an injector.
The injector places the lens within the capsule and as it unfolds the surgeon guides it into place. The viscoelastic is them removed via aspiration. Once this is done the eye surgeon will check over the eye to ensure everything is perfect and that the incision is watertight and then apply an antibiotic and steroid eye drop. The use of stitches is not normally needed as the incision is so small and self-sealing. The surgeon will then place an eye shield/patch over the eye to protect it and the surgery is complete.
After The Surgery
If both eyes need surgery they will normally be treated on separate days to prevent the risk of infecting both eyes and to also see how the first eye heals. The surgery takes an average of twenty minutes per eye and you can expect to leave within an hour or so after the surgery. Your vision should improve gradually over the next twenty four to forty eight hours. Full visual recovery and achieving final outcomes might take up to four weeks.
If you are looking to reduce or even get rid of your eye glasses and/or contacts let us at Rohr Eye & Laser Center help you! We offer several types of LASIK eye surgery including PRK, AK, CK, Cataracts surgery and more. We perform all these eye laser treatments with state of the art equipment. We are a leader in laser vision correction, and our goal is to help you achieve superior vision. Contact us today or view our website http://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment.