How are cataracts treated?

Currently, the only way to remove a visually significant cataract once it has developed is with surgery. 

What are the alternatives to cataract surgery?

 

Alternatives to surgery include:

  • Do nothing and function with your current vision

  • Update your glasses/contacts prescription to try and improve your vision

  • Use more reading light

  • Use a magnifying glass for small print

  • Limit activities like night driving

Is there anything that can be done to lower my risk of developing cataracts or slow the progression?

Cataract development is part of the normal aging process so there is no way to completely prevent their growth.​

Tips to slow down cataract progression include:

  • Limit UV exposure with sunglasses

  • Control medical problems like diabetes

  • Quit smoking

  • Discuss your current medications with your primary doctor

What is cataract surgery?

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Cataract surgery is a same day operation completed at an outpatient surgical center.

 

The surgery is done using local anesthesia and light sedation.  

 

Your eye is prepared with dilating drops and then cleaned prior to surgery.  

Your surgeon will make small incisions in the eye and break up your cataract using ultrasonic energy.  The cataract pieces are then removed and the new lens is inserted in place of the cataract.  

The eye is then given antibiotics and sealed, most often without needing any stitches. 

What is laser-assisted cataract surgery?

Although never proven to provide better patient outcomes, a laser can be used to create precise incisions and weaken the cataract for surgery.  

The laser can also be helpful to manage small amounts of corneal astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. 

Not everyone is a candidate for laser-assisted cataract surgery, so be sure to speak with your surgeon about your eligibility if you are interested. 

What can I expect after cataract surgery?

Recovery time after cataract surgery is relatively quick.

After surgery it is normal for:

  • the eye to feel scratchy or sandy

  • the eye to appear red

  • the vision to be blurry  (most often this clears in 1-3 days but can take several weeks to achieve the best vision possible). 

  • the eye to be more light sensitive