Cataract surgery is often talked about in passing but what are cataracts and what goes into the surgery?
“A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil”. Think of when you wear glasses and they fog up with steam. Cataracts are like that but you can’t just wipe it away. The causes of cataracts are often genetic or due to aging, injury, or past conditions of the tissue within your eye lens.
How do cataracts form?
The lens of your eye sit behind your iris, the colored part of your eye. That lens allows light to pass into your eye which then produces sharp images on your retinas, much like a camera’s film. As you get older or as past surgeries or injuries start to take their tole, your eye becomes less flexible and less transparent. This causes your lenses’ tissue to break down and slowly clump together, which gives you the clouding areas within your lens. As time goes on, and the cataract grows, the clouding becomes denser and increases in size.
There are several types of cataracts that can occur. Some are born with cataracts but often aren’t affected because they are removed shortly after detection. Another, nuclear cataract, causes your lens to turn a yellowish or even brown color that makes it hard to distinguish shades of color, as well as gives you cloudy vision. Cortical cataracts give you streaks on the outer edge of your lens cortex and make it hard for light to pass through your lens. Another type is posterior subscapular cataracts, which interfere with reading, reduces your vision in bright lights, and can cause glares at night.
So, what can Drs. Gibson, Gibson and Moore do to solve these cataract problems?
With surgery, ophthalmologists can remove your natural lens and replace it with a clear, artificial one. During the surgery, your eye will be numbed with drops or an injection. Patients are kept awake for the surgery but will not see what the doctor is doing to their eye. Making small, tiny incisions along the edge of your cornea, the surgeon will break up your lens and slowly remove it. After they have removed the old lens, they will insert the artificial lens into your eye. Typically, these incisions are self-sealing and you will not need stitches. A simple eye patch is placed over your eye and you are given drops to place into your eyes following the surgery.
Cataract surgery is a very simple and minimally invasive procedure that lasts less than an hour. The surgery is very safe and side effects are extremely rare.
If you suffer from blurred or cloudy vision, cataracts may be the issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to determine if cataracts are affecting you!