Details About Cataract Surgery Orange County Patients Should Understand

By Jerri Perry
When the lens in the eye becomes clouded this is known as a cataract and it negatively affects vision by causing images to appear blurry. It may occur in both eyes or just one and is most often related to aging. Initially it can sometimes be improved by a new eyeglasses prescription, although in many cases surgery is the only real long-term solution. Before undergoing cataract surgery Orange County patients need to be aware of all it involves.

Surgical correction of cataracts consists of replacing the cloudy, damaged lens with an artificial one. If the patient is having difficulty carrying out basic activities involving the use of the eyes such as driving or reading, usually surgery will be advised. Fortunately, patients can take their time to decide whether to go ahead with the procedure since waiting itself does not pose a risk to the eye.

Presence of conditions like diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration may also indicate the need for cataract removal. If the patient attends regular eye exams, it will become apparent if surgical correction is suitable. In cases where cataracts need to be removed from both eyes, they will be done separately, with a month or two in between.

Most surgeons use a method known as “phacoemulsification”, which involves making an incision in the cornea’s side through which the damaged lens will be removed by suction and the new, artificial lens will be inserted. These synthetic lenses are made from clear plastic. Generally 90% of patients will experience a marked improvement from this procedure.

A week or two before the patient is scheduled for surgery, certain tests will need to be done to measure the curve of the patient’s cornea and the shape and size of the eye, so the best artificial lens can be chosen. Patients will normally be advised not to eat or drink anything in the twelve hours before the operation.

This procedure can be performed as an out-patient surgery either in a hospital or eye clinic and it is most often carried out while the patient is awake and only a local anesthetic is needed to numb the nerves of the eye, occasionally a general anesthetic is used, but since it is a relatively short and painless treatment this is normally not required. It takes about an hour to complete.

Upon completion of the surgery, the eye is covered with a patch and the patient can rest for awhile. If the doctor is convinced that there are no complications, the patient can go home, but he or she will need someone there to drive. The eye will likely be tender and a bit itchy, possibly with some discharge for one or two days, but this should subside after this time.

Instilling eyedrops for a few days as this helps prevent infection and promotes healing. Glasses or an eye shield will also need to be worn and it should be acceptable to resume a moderate level of activity. Regular check-ups will monitor the healing process and in most cases, eight weeks after cataract surgery Orange County patients can look forward to a full recovery.

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Details About Cataract Surgery Orange County Patients Should Understand

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