You may already be familiar with the relatively simple procedure that is done to treat the early stages of cataracts, but it is important to remember that if your cataracts have gone untreated for some time, you have options to improve your visual health. It is also useful to note that usually just one eye will be treated at a time, to allow you as much vision as possible during the recovery time.
When the Lens is too Large to Break Down into Smaller Pieces
It is first necessary to consider that if you had your surgery soon after the cataracts developed, the impacted lens would be minimized by a probe, requiring little or no anesthesia. The smaller pieces are quickly removed and the new, artificial lens would be implanted behind the iris. Recovery time is quick and an uncomplicated surgery is completed quickly, as an out-patient procedure
Unfortunately, if repairing your cataracts were delayed or not diagnosed early on, the lens is typically too thick to dissolve and therefore you may need to consider the possibility of an Extracapsular procedure. It requires more time and anesthesia, as well as requiring you to shield each eye from light for a few days after the surgery, because the entire, intact lens was removed before the new lens was inserted.
When Major Trauma to the Eye Has Occurred
An option that has waned in popularity over the years is the Intracapsular cataract surgery. This is a much more invasive option than the Extracapsular procedure and requires the extraction of both the intact lens and the capsule that is around it. The implanted, artificial lens can then only be placed in front of the iris.
Even though the incision for the removed cataract is larger than previously mentioned options, it is still possible to undergo a single procedure that includes removal of the impacted lens and implantation of the new lens. Barring other eye problems or trauma, you could easily notice improvement within days, although it is not always possible to correct severe cataracts as an out-patient procedure. You should also expect to need to protect each eye from artificial and natural light for a significant period of time.
In conclusion, if left untreated, cataracts can cause total blindness. As mentioned, delaying treatment can turn a simple operation with few risks and a fast recovery into a more challenging procedure with the potential for a longer recovery time and a higher risk of complications. As a result, early detection and surgery is the best option available.
Contact an eye center like Country Hills Eye Center to learn more about your treatment options.Share