Cataract Surgery: What You Need to Know

What are the causes of cataracts?

What causes the lens to cloud? In most cases, the culprit is the normal aging process. If you are age 65 or older, you probably have cataracts, but they may not have progressed to the point that they affect your vision. Certain lifestyle choices and relatively common health conditions, like diabetes, may hasten cataract development. Nutrition may play at least a limited role. Some research suggests that antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins C and E, and selenium, may slow cataract development. All of these are available in common multivitamin formulas. Beyond that, the use of nutritional supplements carries its own risks; you should consult your physician before adding them to your diet.

What is the treatment for cataracts?

The most effective cataract treatment is to remove the clouded natural lens and implant a clear replacement lens. The relatively simple outpatient cataract surgery has had an excellent record of safety and effectiveness for the past 25 years. Dr. Wise has performed thousands of successful cataract procedures since 1997. She provides individualized care to her cataract patients before, during, and after surgery. You will not be sent to an optometrist for pre-operative or post-operative care.

What does the procedure involve?    

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 20 minutes. Topical eye drops are administered to anesthetize the eye and dilate the pupil, and medications are given for relaxation. Using ultrasound technology, Dr. Wise removes the clouded natural lens and implants a clear lens in its place. You will feel slight pressure. After the procedure, Dr. Wise will give you drops to control inflammation and prevent infection. The very small incision requires no stitches and heals quickly.

When can I resume normal activity?

Most patients are able to drive and return to work the following day. The eye may still be sensitive to touch and light. Sunglasses are recommended for outdoor activity. Dr. Wise will advise when you can resume the use of eye makeup and will answer your questions concerning other activities you should avoid while your eye is healing.

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