Your eye comprises multiple parts, but one of the most crucial is the lens. Similar to lenses in cameras, microscopes and so on, your eyes' lenses function to allow light to penetrate your eyes at different degrees to ensure that you can visualise the environment around you. When the lens develops a cataract, it means the lens will not be able to function since it is will be too cloudy to focus. Fortunately, cataract surgery can remedy this. If you have never had this type of procedure, here is a brief guide on what you need to know about cataract surgery.
What happens prior to your surgery?
Once you have been prepped for surgery, a sedative will be administered to help you relax. Once this it takes effect, a localised anaesthetic is injected to the affected eye and the area around it. The surgeon will then clean the eye thoroughly before the surgery can begin. Although you will be awake, you will not be able to see the surgery. Instead, you may only notice some slight movements and light around you during the procedure.
What goes on during the surgery?
To carry out the surgery, the surgeon will have your eye under a microscope to allow them to see your eye and the cataract as clearly as possible. The first incision is made into the eye to make space for microsurgical instruments that will penetrate the eye and break up the cataract. The optometrist will then extract the top part of the affected eye lens and leave behind the back membrane that is referred to as the lens' posterior capsule. Once the cataract has been removed from the eye, the optometrist will then insert an intraocular lens. These lenses come in a range of materials including silicon, acrylic and even plastic! The great thing about the new-age lenses is that they are implanted permanently and will not only replace the affected lens but also will improve the vision of the affected eye.
What should you expect post-surgery?
Once your cataract surgery is finished, your optometrist will cover up the affected eye to shield it from contaminants, light and other elements that could irritate the eye. You will then wait for some time in the recovery area before you will be ready to leave the hospital. You should know that it is inadvisable to drive yourself home so you should have a friend or loved one wait for you to take you home. In the beginning, you may experience starbursts or halos in your vision, but these will clear away in a few days.