Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the world, with about 10 percent of Americans affected. In fact, over 22 million Americans who are over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts every year. But what exactly is a cataract? A cataract refers to the cloudiness that occurs in the normally clear lens of the eye.
The lens is located behind the pupil in the eye. The lens helps focus light on the retina. Cataracts cause the amount of light reaching the retina to diminish. Untreated cataracts can cause permanent vision loss. Even if your cataract is on the smaller side, it can still cause a significant amount of damage to your vision.
Cataracts affect millions of people each year, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent loss of your vision! If cataracts are caught in the early stages, they will not cause permanent vision loss. If you suspect you have cataracts, the sooner you see a cataract surgeon, the better!
Keep reading to learn the 4 questions you should be asking your cataract surgeon before cataract surgery!
1. How Safe is Cataract Surgery?
While there are various ways to manage the symptoms of your cataracts, surgery may eventually become necessary. You may be nervous, which is normal, but make sure to ease your fears and lessen your anxiety by asking your surgeon any questions you may have before surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is an incredibly common and safe procedure. In fact, over 20 million cataract surgeries will be performed around the world just this year. Of those surgeries, ninety-eight percent are completed without any major complications.
2. What if it Hurts?
Prior to surgery, your doctor will give you numbing eye drops so you don’t feel anything during the procedure.
3. What If I’m Too Nervous or Anxious?
Nerves and anxiety prior to cataract surgery are normal and nothing to be ashamed of, particularly for those who have generalized anxiety disorder and related mental health issues. If you are feeling especially nervous, ask your cataract surgeon about options that may allow you to further relax during your cataract surgery.
4. What Happens During Surgery?
Cataract surgery is incredibly quick so the actual procedure itself will only take about 20 minutes. Your doctor will make an incision in the front of your eye and then use a tool to break up the cataract. After removing it, they will insert an intraocular lens (IOL) and close up your incision. Immediately following the surgery, you will head to recovery so you can be monitored. Once you are cleared from recovery, you can have a friend or family member come drive you home. From there, you can recover in the comfort of your own home.
Cataract surgery is incredibly safe, and when combined with our doctors’ valuable expertise and experience, we can make your procedure at Stahl Eyecare Experts easy and painless! If you would like more information about cataract surgery, or are interested in scheduling your first appointment, please contact our office today.