Many people may suffer from cataracts for awhile without even realizing that they have symptoms of cataracts. Most cataract patients complain that colors aren't as bright as they should be and maybe have difficulty driving at night. The affects of Cataracts can come on gradually and may be hard to pin point at first. About 50% of people over the age of 60 suffer from cataracts. Cataract surgery is one of the most common medical procedures performed in the U.S. today. The surgery is usually only lasts about 10-15mins and is typically an outpatient procedure.
Before the surgery, the eye must be properly cleaned and dilated so that topical anesthetic can be administered to the eye. A small incision will be made and an ultrasonic device will be inserted. The front part of the lens (known as the lens capsule) is carefully opened so that the lens material can be removed. A small ultrasonic device then pulverizes the hardened and yellowed proteins forming the cataract, and that material is vacuumed from the eye. A folded intraocular lens, specifically chosen by your eye surgeon to suit your individual vision needs, is then inserted through the original incision and centered within the lens capsule. The lens will stay inside your eye without moving. Intraocular lenses cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient. Your Cataract specialist will make sure the lens is positioned correctly, and the opening will self-seal without the need for stitches.
The recovery period after cataract surgery is generally pretty fast. Most patients achieve noticeable better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Patients are given two different eye medications to be administered as drops several times daily for the first few weeks after surgery. It is important that during the first seven days, patients stay away from strenuous activity and also rubbing their eyes.
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