Sometime after age 50, most of us are likely to hear our eye doctor say, "You have cataracts."
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or corneal refractive surgery like LASIK.
As frightening as cataracts might sound, modern cataract surgery usually can restore vision lost to cataracts — and often can reduce your dependence on eyeglasses as well.
Thankfully, modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today.
More than 3 million cataract surgeries are performed in the India every year, with the vast majority of these procedures produce excellent visual outcomes.
Cataract Surgery Basics
In cataract surgery, the lens inside your eye that has become cloudy is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens, or IOL) to restore clear vision.
The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.
Most modern cataract procedures involve the use of a high-frequency ultrasound device that breaks up the cloudy lens into small pieces, which are then gently removed from the eye with suction.
This procedure, called phacoemulsification or "phaco," can be performed with smaller incisions than previous surgical techniques for cataract removal, promoting faster healing and reducing the risk of cataract surgery complications, such as a retinal detachment.
After all remnants of the cloudy lens have been removed from your eye, the cataract surgeon inserts a clear intraocular lens, positioning it securely behind the iris and pupil, in the same location your natural lens occupied. (In special cases, an IOL might be placed in front of the iris and pupil, but this is less common.)
The surgeon then completes the cataract removal and IOL implantation procedure by closing the incision in your eye (a stitch may or may not be needed), and a protective shield is placed over the eye to keep it safe in the early stages of your cataract surgery recovery.