Cataract surgery is the most frequently requested and one of the safest procedures. Unfortunately, many misconceptions surround the procedure. To help in making a more informed decision regarding your eye’s health, we’ve compiled a list of common cataract myths.
A cataract is a cloudy film over the eye.
False, the lens is positioned inside of the eye behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). This lens can become cloudy due to a number of reasons. The cloudy appearance occurs as a result of protein found in the lens that hardens which then makes your vision blurry, even with spectacles.
Only old people get cataracts.
Although one of the main causes of cataracts are age, it’s not exclusively found in the elderly. It can occur at any age due to a number of reasons. The above mentioned hardening of protein can occur due to a number of reasons which can include:
- Prenatal infections
- Chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes)
- Drug abuse (including smoking)
- Unprotected sun exposure.
Cataracts need to mature before surgery.
Before technology allowed the improvement of refractive eye surgeries, large incisions had to be made manually in order to remove cataracts. In these surgeries, it was recommended to let the cloudy part grow, so that most of it could be extracted in one go.
Technology has improved leading to state-of-the-art microscopes and lasers that can remove cataracts at any stage of their development.
Cataract surgeries are dangerous.
While a delicate surgery, skilled ophthalmologists have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful eye procedures currently available. Millions of people per year and from around the world have these surgeries done.
Before the operation is done, an ophthalmologist will measure the length of your eye to determine the optimal power of an intraocular lens (IOL) that will replace your clouded lens. The removal and IOL fitting is so painless, only a topical anaesthetic eye drops is used to numb the eye. Patients are allowed to go home on the same day as their treatment.
Your vision will always be and stay perfect after treatment.
After the cataracts have been removed, the majority of patients experience improved sight when going about their regular activities. However, it is not definite that everyone will be able to discard their spectacles. Whether you’ll need to wear glasses after surgery depends on the type of IOL you chose to insert as well as the type of IOL.
It is possible to experience hazy and blurry vision similar to a cataract after the surgery which is the opacification of the posterior capsule of the lens. This can easily be rectified by a YAG laser which is an in-office procedure to re-establish clear vision.
If your vision is cloudy, blurry or become gradually impaired, make an appointment at your ophthalmologist. He or she will evaluate your vision, recommend the appropriate course of treatment and answer any further questions you may have.