The Good News About Cataract Surgery

The Good News About Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide, with about 60,000 procedures performed each day. About 4 million cataract surgeries are performed annually in the United States alone.

One reason why it’s so common: Millions of people have cataracts. In fact, it’s estimated that by age 75, roughly half of all Americans have at least one cataract, and nearly 25 million have at least one cataract by the time they’re in their 40s.

Of course, just the word “surgery” is enough to make plenty of people nervous, and that’s completely normal. The good news is cataract surgery is straightforward, recovery is quick, and the results can dramatically improve your quality of life.

Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts is a leading provider of cataract surgery for patients in and around Bellmore, Great Neck, and Huntington, New York. In this post, our team reviews the basics of this common surgery, including how it “works” and what to expect during and after your procedure.

Quick facts about cataracts

Cataracts refer to a clouding of your eye’s natural lens. Your eye’s lens is located directly behind your pupil and iris and helps refract or bend light as it passes through your pupil and travels to the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye.

As we age, the lens can become cloudy as proteins inside the lens start to clump together. Cataracts can also happen as a result of eye trauma, and some infants are born with cataracts. Smoking, some types of medications, and a family history of cataracts increase your risk, too.

A cataract may cause few or even no noticeable symptoms in its initial stages. But as the cloudiness increases, you can begin to develop symptoms like:

If you have a cataract in one or both eyes, you may also find that your eyewear prescriptions need frequent changes.

Cataract surgery: The basics

As noted, the prevalence of cataracts is one reason cataract surgery is so common. Another reason is it’s time-tested, has an excellent safety profile, and is very effective in restoring clear vision for people suffering from cataracts and their symptoms.

Cataract surgery uses special techniques to access the eye’s lens. Once accessed, the surgeon uses a laser and special instruments to break apart the lens and extract it. 

Then, the surgeon inserts an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens or IOL) that acts like a healthy, clear lens. Our team offers several lens options, including lenses designed for people with astigmatism, multifocal lenses, and silicone lenses that can help reduce your reliance on glasses.

What to expect during and after your surgery

Before the surgery, your provider will use a local anesthetic to numb your eye. Next, they will make a small incision to access your lens. They will remove the lens using special instruments and then insert and anchor the artificial lens.

Cataract surgery is quick, with the actual procedure only taking about 10-20 minutes. Afterward, you’ll spend a little time in a recovery area before being discharged. You’ll need to have someone with you to drive you home.

You might have some minor itchiness, burning, or dryness in the very early stages of healing, but these quickly resolve. You’ll have some special eye drops to promote healing and control inflammation, along with follow-up visits to monitor your healing.

Best of all, most people notice an improvement in their vision shortly after surgery. While complete healing can take several weeks, in most cases, you can return to most of your regular activities, including work, within a few days.

Restore your vision

Cataract surgery offers life-changing results for women and men suffering from poor vision due to cataracts. To learn how cataract surgery can help improve your eyesight and your quality of life, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts today.

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