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Cataract surgery: What you need to know

Cataract surgery can be an intimidating process for anyone, whilst it is considered as a relatively minor operation, the fact that we rely upon our sight for day to day living can make this a rather scary procedure. This article will tell you about cataract surgery, what the operation is like, and how you can expect to feel whilst recovering.

What is cataract surgery?

A ‘cataract’ is a disease within a person’s eye that leads to the lens becoming cloudy; this can range in its effect, with the worst cases involving people that are barely able to see anything at all from their infected eye.

This happens because the area that is affected (the lens) is used for funneling light into the back of the eye. When a person has a cataract, depending on the seriousness of the condition, there is less and less light that is being let through.

Generally speaking cataracts will occur over a long period, and will gradually worsen over time. They occur more commonly as we age, and can appear in either one, or both eyes. Current figures show that a staggering 60% of those over 60 develop cataract.

What does the procedure involve?

Because cataract is so common, the procedure is undertaken across the country daily in hospitals up and down the country. It should serve as a reassurance that the professionals perform this procedure multiple times per day.

The procedure itself involves what is known as phacoemulsification which is where an operating microscope is used to operate an extremely thin probe (that looks similar to a laser) to remove the cataract. The probe makes an extremely small incision into the lens, and from there the probe is then able to ‘dissolve’ the cataract by way of micro vibrations. The infected areas themselves will break into extremely small pieces, which are then removed by the probe. At the end of the surgery, you will have an artificial lenses applied to your eye, which will help you focus your eye during your recovery time.

How does a person feel that is recovering from a cataract operation?

Although cataract surgery may sound like a scary procedure, it needn’t. The risks are extremely low and recovery time is extremely quick. For the immediate days after your surgery you will be required to attend the surgery as an outpatient, where you’re Doctor or other medical professional will ensure your eye is healing as it should. At home, you will be using speciailised prescribed eye drops, that will aid in your recovery after cataract surgery. The general recovery time of cataract surgery is around 3-4 days, although in some instances it may take longer. Your vision might be blurry after the operation but with time the eye will heal and you will be able to see more clearly. Avoid putting more pressure by bending over and sneezing immediately after the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe you to wear eye patch for few days.

Cataract surgery is a procedure that is quick and relatively painless, and although it can sound like an intimidating prospect, the benefits it can bring are unparalleled.

You might be interested to know about: laser eye surgery

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