General Cataract FAQ
What is Cataract ?
Cataract is an aging process. It is not a disease. Just like our hair may turn white with age so does a clear and transparent lens inside the eye turn opaque. When this lens turns opaque it is called a cataract. The lens turning opaque is not the problem. The problem is when this opaque lens allows lesser and lesser light to enter the eye thus obstructing vision.
What is the procedure of surgery
Cataract surgery is done by a technique called phacoemulsification. It is also referred to as Phaco in short. In this technique small incisions are made in the eye. These incisions are about 1.5 to 2.2 mm in width. Through these incisions instruments enter the eye and emulsify or liquefy the cataract. After emulsification the liquid material is aspirated out. After the cataract is aspirated out an IOL is interest into the eye.
How long does it take to remove cataract
Usually a cataract surgery takes around 15-20 minutes in total. It is done without any injections and is a painless procedure.
What are the precautions required for surgery.
Before surgery the patient has to use certain eye drops one day prior to surgery and on the day of surgery.
The real precautions start after surgery. These precautions are usually for a period of 12-14 days after surgery. The patient cannot touch his or her eye. No head bath or washing eyes or face. One should not bend down, lift heavy weights or strain.
Eye Drops have to be applied for almost a month.
In summary person should maintain good hygiene and report to the doctor if there is pain, redness, watering or blurry vision.
What is the meaning of IOL
IOL means intraocular lens. It is the lens implanted in your eye to replace the natural lens. The advantage of inserting a lens is that the patients don’t need to wear glasses for distance and near after cataract surgery. There are various types of IOLs in the market and the differences between them would be best explained to you by your doctor.
What are the risks in the surgery
Cataract surgery is a very safe procedure. That being said, it is a surgery and no surgery is without any risks. The most important is the risk of infection. Both the doctor and the patient have to take a lot of precautions to prevent infection after surgery. The chance of any infection occurring is less than 0.1%.
Will I require glasses after cataract surgery
Depending on the IOL you choose you may require glasses for both distance and near. However, there are lenses available which can get rid of your glasses for both distance and near.
Is the IOL permanent or we have to replace it after sometime
The IOL once implanted is permanent and does not have to be changed. These same IOLs are used in children less than two years and the IOLs last a lifetime.
Can cataract reoccur
Once the cataract is removed it cannot reoccur. However another condition known as after cataract can occur in upto 40% of patients undergoing cataract surgery. This after cataract requires a very short laser treatment which is done in the OPD and there are no restrictions after the procedure.
Is the surgery painful
The surgery is not painfull. The patient is awake during the procedure
After how many days of surgery I can resume my work
Depending on the type of work you do one can resume work as soon as a few days after surgery. If work involves a construction site or a dusty environment then we encourage the patient to wait a good 10 days before resuming work.
Do I have to stay overnight at the hospital
Cataract surgery is a day care procedure which means that no overnight admission is required. Actually the patients can leave the hospital 10 min after surgery. Infact, at Eye Solutions, we remove the patch of the patient before sending the patient home and the patient walks home wearing his post operative protective glasses.
What is the right time to undergo surgery
There is no perfect time to undergo cataract surgery. Surgery should be done when the person has a problem as regards his or her vision. Cataract surgery is not an emergency and thus the time to do surgery can very even for the same patient.
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