The eyes are sensitive parts of the body; since they are exposed to elements like dust wind and other potentially dangerous matter, extra care needs to be taken to safeguard these visual organs. The eye lens, just like the camera lens, can experience depreciation for one reason or the other, and this situation can beg for surgery as soon as possible. The cataract procedure is one of the methods surgeons use to correct the lens in the eye to restore proper vision for people who have suffered distortion of the lens.
What is cataract surgery?
The eye lens, in most cases, is naturally clear, but this may change over time where it becomes clouded either naturally or through an incident. Clouding of the lens impairs vision, and an individual may find himself or herself unable to see clearly. Images may appear blurry, and long distance objects may be simply out of sight altogether. Cataract surgery is the procedure involved in treating these cataracts, by changing them to eliminate the distortion in vision.
An old camera usually has a depreciated lens or a newer version that needs changing from time to time. Just like the camera, cataracts appear with age, when the eye is naturally aging. In some rare cases, it may appear at birth due to a chemical interaction with the eye that makes it difficult for light to get into the retina. Cataract surgery is a fairly safe way to restore the eye’s natural ability to see. If done by professionals, it can be a painless procedure with adequate recovery time.
The light that enters the eye usually passes through the cornea, a transparent tissue in front of the eye. The cornea, in turn, focuses the light on the sensitive layers at the backside of the eye. What usually happens during a cataract surgery is that the old blurry lens is taken out and replaced by a newer, artificial and clearer lens. Since it is a day surgery, it is normally a straightforward procedure that takes about 30 minutes, and an individual can go home immediately after the procedure.
The operation involves the surgeon making a tiny incision in the eye near the cornea using a laser. A laser is a preferred device as it provides more accuracy and minimizes chances of accidents. This will enable access to the old lens. The specialized device then emits ultrasound vibrations when inserted into the eye that will break down the old lens. This will make it easier to take out all the fragments through the small incision.
Once it has been removed, an artificial lens usually referred to as an intraocular implant is inserted into the slot where the damaged lens used to be. From then onwards, the patient will have to take medication and maintain a proper lifestyle for a speedy recovery.
In some cases, eye lenses in both eyes may be too blurry for vision. In such situations, two separate operations will have to be carried out on two different occasions, so that a patient’s daily routine is not affected. The two operations should be carried out weeks apart to enable the first eye to heal fully before initiating surgery on the other affected eye. Since the lens is usually permanent, one may not need to wear glasses in the long run.
Cataract Surgery – Recovery time
As soon as the operation is done, recovery can begin immediately. Significant improvement of the vision can be experienced as early as the day after the surgery. The doctor may suggest glasses for a period of up to a month after the surgery since the lenses are unable to see some distant objects for the first few weeks.
Doctors recommend an easy, relaxed lifestyle for the first two days after the surgery so that the new lens is not subjected to any form of stress. Soap and water should also be avoided from the eye for a few weeks until it has fully recovered. Touching of the eye under recovery could also prove dangerous as it may displace the initially delicate lens. If all the medication and doctor’s instructions are followed to the latter, in a few weeks, the patient should be able to view things in clearer focus without any form of blur or distortion. He or she should be able to distinguish different colors, which may otherwise appear brighter and inseparable. The patient is also able to look toward light without much struggle and squinting.
Before undergoing surgery to replace the lens, it is important first to consult with a qualified eye doctor to fully understand the process and the risks involved. There have been reported cases of procedures gone wrong due to unqualified personnel operating on oblivious patients. Otherwise, the chances of a procedure going wrong are very minimal, with only a 1 in 1000 chance of blindness after the surgery.
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