The effects of cataracts can make it difficult to perform several types of daily activities on your own. For patients struggling with clouded vision, Dr. Walter Choate can perform cataract surgery at our Goodlettsville, TN, practice. During this procedure, your doctor can restore your clarity of vision and independence with an intraocular lens (IOL).
As we age, proteins within the eye's lens can clump together and form cataracts. This eventually results in obscured and blurred vision. Also known as lens implant surgery, cataract surgery is performed to remove lenses clouded by cataracts and replace them with clear, artificial lenses. Several types of lenses are available and we can help you choose the best option based on your needs.
Because cataracts often cannot be avoided, Dr. Choate and his team only recommend surgery as a last resort. In many cases, a stronger prescription can adequately improve your vision. However, if you start having difficulty seeing at night or if the cataracts begin affecting your ability to drive, then surgery may be the best option.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that can be completed in about 15 minutes per eye. To prepare your eyes, your doctor will administer numbing drops to minimize any discomfort during the procedure. If necessary, he or she can also provide a mild sedative to help you relax. In most cases, a lid speculum will be used to keep the eyelids open.
Your doctor will first make a small incision in the cornea to access the lens. Once the natural lens has been removed, the replacement lens can be placed. Depending on the type of IOL you choose, the lens can be placed within the capsule (the soft lining which surrounds the natural lens), in front of the capsule, or rarely, in front of the iris. Patients may or may not require stitches to close up the incision and a protective shield will be placed over the eye.
Complete recovery from cataract surgery takes at least a few weeks. You will be asked to wait briefly in the outpatient area to ensure that no complications arise. Once you are cleared to leave, you will need to be driven home by a friend or family member.
It is essential that you follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions as carefully as possible. During the first few days after your surgery, you will need to wear the eye shield during the day and at night. In very bright light, you will need a special set of wraparound sunglasses for extra protection, as well. Your doctor will likely prescribe eye drops to promote healing and minimize your risk of complications.
Although it usually take a few weeks for vision to stabilize completely, most patients are able to drive on their own within a day or two.
Patients often report blurry vision and increased light sensitivity after their surgery, particularly in the first week or so. While these symptoms are only temporary, it will still take some time for your eyes to adjust to the new lenses. Although it usually take a few weeks for vision to stabilize completely, most patients are able to drive on their own within a day or two.
It is important to keep in mind that while cataract surgery greatly improves vision, most patients will still need glasses afterward. However, depending on the type of IOL you received, some patients may need corrective eyewear more than others.
Here at Choate Eye Associates, we strive to provide patients with the best service possible. If you suffer from the effects of cataracts, contact us today to set up an appointment and discuss whether surgical correction is right for you.