There are three types of cataracts:
- A nuclear cataract forms in the lens. Those over 65 are more prone to develop this type of cataract. More than half of all Americans over the age of 65 will develop a cataract.
- A cortical cataract forms in the lens, then grows from the outside to the center of the lens. Diabetics are more prone to develop this type of cataract.
- A subscapular cataract forms in the back of the lens. Those with diabetes, high hyperopia (Far-sightedness) or retinitis pigmentosa may be at a higher risk to develop this type of cataract.
The most common symptoms of a cataract are:
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Problems with light, such as headlights that seem too bright, glare from lamps or very bright sunlight.
- Colors that seem faded.
- Poor night vision.
- Double or multiple vision.
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses.
- Optical aids such as eyeglasses or contact lenses are no longer effective.
Cataract surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis. You will not need to be hospitalized or put to sleep for your doctor to perform your surgery. The procedure normally takes less than 15 minutes and you can return home shortly after your procedure. Most people will enjoy improved vision by the day after surgery or within a few days following the procedure.
To begin, your surgeon will administer a light sedative which will relax your nerves and keep you comfortable during the procedure. Anesthetic eye drops will be used to completely numb the eye. The entire procedure is performed through an incision that is smaller than 1/8 of an inch and does not require stitches to heal.
Once the cataract is removed, an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is placed where the cataract lens was removed, to restore your sight. Most patients will not require an eye patch and will not have any discomfort.
Most patients can return to their normal daily routines; including reading, driving, and exercise, the day after surgery.
The most commonly known type of cataract is age-related.
Ultraviolet light is a known catalyst for the formation of cataracts, so we recommend wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses which will lessen your exposure over time.
Other studies point to people with diabetes as a higher risk group for cataract development than those who do not suffer from diabetes.
Cigarettes, air pollution, heavy drug usage and severe alcohol consumption may also contribute to your chances of developing cataracts.
- I need to drive, but I see too much glare from the sun or headlights.
- I do not see well enough to do my best at work.
- I do not see well enough to do the things I need to do at home.
- I have trouble trying to read, watch TV, sew, play cards, etc.
- I am afraid I will bump into something or fall.
- Because of my cataract, I am not as independent as I desire.
- My glasses do not help me see well enough.
- My eyesight interferes with many of my daily functions.
- You may also have other specific problems that we will discuss with you.
You will be able to make the right decision for yourself if you know the facts. We are more than happy to explain anything you do not understand. There is no such thing as a "dumb" question when it comes to your health.
Cataract surgery is outpatient. You do not need to stay overnight in a hospital. However, you will need a friend or family member to take you home. You may need someone to stay with you for a day to help you follow your doctor's instructions.
With modern cataract surgery, most patients have a fast visual recovery. Some patients are even able to drive themselves to see the doctor for follow-up the day after surgery. Remember that the follow-up is very important. We will thoroughly check your progress and make sure you have the care you need until your eye recovers fully.