Cataracts are an eye condition that often occurs in patients over the age of 40. Cataracts happen when the natural lens in your eye gradually becomes opaque. This can cause blurred and cloudy vision that may impair your eyesight or cause blindness in extreme cases.
There are three types of cataracts. These include:
- The cortical cataract, which is when the cataract affects the lens cortex of the eye. Opacities appear wedge-like and work their way from the outside of the lens to the center, like a bicycle wheel.
- The subcapsular cataract, which occurs at the back of the lens. This type of cataract is most often experienced by those who have diabetes.
- The nuclear cataract, which occurs in the center of the lens. This type of cataract is most associated with aging.
Cataracts can occur in either one or both of your eyes as you age, but they are not a disease that is spread from one eye to the other.
What happens during cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery as a corrective eye surgery is typically recommended by an eye doctor only when the cataract begins to impact your way of life. During the procedure, a cataract surgeon will make an incision into the eye and remove the natural lens that has been affected by the cataract.
The cataract surgeon will then replace the natural lens with an artificial plastic lens. This artificial lens is permanent and gives you better vision. Additionally, it requires no care on your part. If there are cataracts in both eyes, the cataract surgeon will most likely request that you come in for two separate surgeries so the one eye has time to heal and you won’t be completely visually impaired.
Types of cataract surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the most common types of surgeries in the world. The procedure time takes less than 15 minutes and the patient is most often awake during the process, numbed by local anesthesia. There are two specific types of cataract surgery that an eye surgeon may perform.
- Femtosecond Laser-Assisted cataract surgery: The laser platform creates detailed, three-dimensional imagery of the interior of the eye which makes it easier to create customized plans for cataract removal and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).
- Small incision cataract surgery: This type of surgery requires the surgeon to make a small incision along the outside of the cornea. A small probe is then inserted into the eye where it gives off a series of ultrasound waves meant to break up the lens and soften it to allow for easy removal.
Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that will give you the gift of better sight. For more information regarding cataract surgery, contact Missouri Eye Institute today.