Cataract Surgery in Long Island
The only way to reverse vision loss from cataracts is to have them surgically removed. Cataract surgery may sound intimidating, but it is actually one of the safest and most frequently performed operations in the country. The operation removes the clouded lens and replaces it with an artificial lens that restores clear vision and focusing power. Individuals seeking cataract surgery in Long Island turn to the team at TOC Eye® for expert treatment and exceptional patient care.
Preparing for Cataract Surgery
Prior to cataract surgery, you will meet with the TOC Eye® team for an eye exam and consultation. During the conversation, you will be asked about your health history, eye health and lifestyle to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for surgery and whether you have any risk factors. The doctors will conduct several tests to determine your eye measurements and vision needs, which are used to formulate the surgical plan. You will also select a type of IOL (intraocular lens) that suits your individual needs. Our doctors will review the pros and cons of each IOL type and help you pick out the most appropriate option based on your needs and goals. We have also provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cataracts.
The Surgical Procedure
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home shortly after the procedure. From start to finish, the procedure takes about 15 minutes. You will be asked to arrive at the surgery center a little early to discuss any last-minute items with our team and be briefed on what is about to happen. Your eyes will be numbed with special drops, and you may receive medication to help you relax.
The first step of the cataract removal process is to make an incision in the surface of the eye. Then, the capsule that holds the lens must be gently opened. A high frequency ultrasound device is used to break up the cloudy lens into small pieces; the pieces are removed from the eye with gentle suction. After all of the pieces have been removed, the intraocular lens is inserted through the same incisions and positioned behind the iris and the pupil in the space formerly occupied by the natural lens. Once the IOL has been properly positioned, the incision is self-sealing, and a pair of sunglasses are placed over the over the eyes.
Recovering from Cataract Surgery
For most patients, the recovery period following cataract surgery is short and complication-free. You may experience initial side effects such as redness and blurred vision, but these should resolve quickly.
You will need to use prescription eye drops several times a day for a few weeks following your procedure. You should wear your protective eye shield for a week after surgery while you are sleeping to avoid accidentally poking or rubbing your eyes. You will also receive a special pair of post-operative sunglasses to wear outside to protect your eyes from sunlight and bright light.
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 I exercise after cataract surgery?
During the first week of recovery, you must avoid any strenuous activity, heavy lifting, water that could splash into your eye and activity that could expose your eye to dust or other contaminants.
Your doctor will monitor your recovery and clear you to return to work, exercise and other daily activities. If you have questions at any point during your recovery, our team is available to speak with you.
Can cataracts return after surgery?
Cataracts cannot return after surgery. However, at some point in time, a portion of the lens capsule may become 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
If you are suffering visual problems due to cataracts, TOC Eye® can help. Contact our team to discuss your symptoms and diagnosis and explore your treatment options. Call us at 631-751-2020 or send us an email today.
If you are suffering visual problems due to cataracts, TOC Eye® can help. Contact our team to discuss your symptoms and diagnosis and explore your treatment options. Call us at 631-751-2020 or send us an email to set up an appointment with our ophthalmologists