Frequently Asked Questions about Cataracts
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts are typically attributed to the aging process.
Are cataracts common?
Yes, cataracts are very common in older adults. About half of all adults over the age of 60 have cataracts; nearly all adults over the age of 70 have cataracts.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
The only way to determine whether you have cataracts is to meet with an ophthalmologist and have a comprehensive eye exam (and additional testing). You may have cataracts if you experience any of the following:
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Double vision
- Poor vision in bright light conditions
- Poor night vision
- Halos around lights
- Yellowish-tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Can cataracts be treated with medicine?
No, cataracts cannot be treated with medicine. The only way to treat them is to remove them during a surgical operation.
Do I need to have cataract surgery?
If your cataracts are still small and in the early stages, they may not be interfering with your vision. Cataracts only need to be removed when they have progressed to the point where they are disturbing your vision significantly and impacting your daily activities.
What happens if I don’t have cataract surgery?
If you choose not to have your cataracts removed, your vision will continue to deteriorate as the lens becomes more clouded. Eventually, you may go blind.
What is the process for removing cataracts?
Cataract removal is an outpatient procedure. Incisions are made on the front of the eye and in the capsule that holds the lens. Ultrasound energy is used to break up the cataract-diseased lens into small pieces. The pieces are gently removed from the eye with suction. Then, an artificial lens is placed in the eye to restore normal vision and clear focusing power.
What are my artificial lens options?
We offer several different kinds of artificial lenses with special features. Some are designed to restore clear vision at a fixed distance, whereas others restore clear vision at multiple distances. Others are designed to correct the effects of presbyopia, the age-related loss of vision.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
No, cataract surgery does not hurt. Numbing eyedrops are used to prevent you from feeling any pain. You may also take a sedative medication prior to treatment to help relax you.
How long is the recovery?
Most people notice an improvement in their vision within a day or two of the surgery. There may be a slight adjustment period as the eye adapts to the new artificial lens implant.
Can cataracts return after surgery?
Cataracts cannot return after surgery. However, at some point in time, a portion of the lens capsule may becomes hazy. This is known as a “secondary cataract” and can be easily treated with a short, minimally invasive, in-office procedure for clearer vision.
Contact Our Cataract Surgeons
At TOC Eye®, we are available to answer any additional questions you may have about cataracts and their treatment. Please call us today at 631-751-2020 or contact us via our web form.