Cataract Surgery at Greene County Medical Center
Since cataracts are a painless, naturally occurring part of the aging process, surgical correction is one of the most common and safest procedures performed, typically consisting of removal of a cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial one. Cataracts can begin forming as early as 40 years of age. However, since it is such a gradual process, the symptoms may not be recognized by the patient, but instead identified and diagnosed during a routine eye examination. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will monitor the progression of lens cloudiness and recommend the optimal time for this surgical procedure.
What are cataracts and how do they form?
- Over time, proteins build up on the eyes, creating a film over the lens.
- The film creates a "cloudiness" to vision.
- As the cloudiness gradually increases over time, this obstructs the amount light into the eye.
- The lens color also changes from clear to yellow/brown, creating a brown tint to vision.
- Eventually, the build up interferes with normal activities and results in restrictions to every-day life.
- Symptoms include increased prescription changes, cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing in low light or night, haloing, light sensitivity or dulling of colors.
Can I prevent cataracts and what happens during cataract surgery?
Although there are no proven preventative measures for cataracts, the risk can be reduced:
- Wear sunglasses
- Eat healthy and maintain an appropriate weight
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and glaucoma
More about cataract surgery:
- It is typically done while the patient is awake
- The surgeon removes the cloudy lens from the eye
- This is then replaced with an artificial lens.
- Surgery generally takes around one hour
- Most patients find it nearly painless
- After care could include eyedrops to prevent infection and inflammation, use of an eye shield for sleeping, wearing of sunglasses outside and several timely follow-up visits with your physician