By: Dr. Allison R. Tyler
Dr. Tyler’s Answers Common Questions About Cataracts
Does surgery for cataracts hurt?
Most patients have little to no pain during and after surgery for cataracts. During the procedure your eye is numb and you receive medication through an IV to help you remain relaxed and comfortable. After the surgery it is normal to have light sensitivity and irritation in the eye for several days. Any discomfort should be easily controlled with over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Do cataracts come back?
Once a cataract is surgically removed it cannot grow back. The cloudy natural lens is removed from the eye and replaced with an intraocular lens implant. However, 30% of patients can develop a cloudy film behind the new lens implant in the months or years after cataract surgery, which can lead to a return of blurred vision and glare. This film can be removed with a simple Yag laser procedure.
Will I have to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
Advanced technology intraocular lens implants can offer varying amounts of independence from glasses for some patients. Not all patients are candidates for these lens implants due to the shape of their eyes. We do extensive testing to determine if you are a good candidate to get out of glasses with cataract surgery.
Will I be asleep during cataract surgery?
You will be sedated with IV medication during surgery but will not be completely asleep. The medication will keep you relaxed and comfortable while still enabling you to be aware enough to remain still and cooperate with any instructions your surgeon and operating room team may give you.
Do I have to have an implant during cataract surgery?
Yes, if you want to see well after surgery. During cataract surgery, the natural, cloudy lens is removed from the eye. If that lens is not replaced with an intraocular lens, your vision will be quite blurry and you will have to wear very thick glasses. The lens implants have the added benefit of helping to correct vision and oftentimes reducing the need for glasses after surgery.
How will I know I need cataract surgery?
When you have trouble seeing well enough to do your daily activities, it may be time for cataract surgery. The most common symptoms of cataracts are blurred vision, glare, and difficulty seeing at night. As your eye doctor, we can perform a thorough exam to ensure your visual symptoms are not due to any other ocular problems and discuss if you may benefit from cataract surgery.