A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. The lens, located just behind the iris, or the coloured part of your eye, works like the lens of a camera.
The human lens, made mostly of protein and water, can become clouded preventing a clear image from forming on the retina. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can cause the clouding as well. By Definition, this is a cataract, and over time it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it more difficult to see. However, in over 90% of cases, clouding is caused by the aging process.
A cataract can be the reason sharp images become blurred, or seeing things at night becomes more difficult. It may also be why the eyeglasses or contact lenses that help you read, or do other simple tasks, no longer help.
Has become one of the safest of all surgeries, due to advances in clinical technique and surgical technology. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and nearly 98 percent of all cataract surgeries are performed each year without serious complications.
The cloudy cataract is removed and is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL) implantation. Lens replacement has been used for many years and has an excellent success rate. In most cases you will spend just a few hours at the site. Because your eyes will be treated with anesthetic, you should feel no pain but may experience brief pinching and pressure sensations during the procedure.
Often you will be expected to visit the office at the end of the day or the next day for a follow up examination. This will not take long but is a necessary step in ensuring the best visual outcome.
Although most patients see an improvement, some do not, usually because of other factors e.g. retinal aging, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes, injury or a “lazy eye”. Also, some operations prove to be more difficult as no two eyes are identical from a surgical standpoint. Uncommon complications such as infection (1/1000), hemorrhage, vitreous or retinal problems can happen. In less than 1% of cases a different IOL insertion technique may be required due to anatomical variations. In these rare cases, the IOL would be implanted as part of a second procedure at a later date. The chance of serious problems have been significantly reduced with the advent of surgical technique, IOLs and equipment.