COMMON QUESTIONS - CATARACTS

Questions about Cataracts?

Who is at risk for cataract?

The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Besides age, other risk factors for cataract include diseases like diabetes, smoking, alcohol use and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight.

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

The most common symptoms of a cataract are cloudy or blurry vision, fading of colors, glare from headlights, lamps, or sunlight seems bright and may produce a halo effect. Other symptoms are poor night vision, double vision or frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.

How do I know if cataract surgery is right for me?

A cataract only needs to be removed when it interferes with your vision and causes problems with everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult. Dr. Rishi can help answer any questions you may have and inform you of any risks. There are times when a cataract which is not affecting your vision will need to be removed if it is preventing the treatment of another eye problem brought on by diabetes or macular degeneration.

What happens before surgery?

A week before surgery, you will be scheduled for an appointment at Kumar Eye Institute for some simple tests. These tests include measuring the curve of the cornea and the size and shape of your eye. This information helps our doctors choose the correct intraocular lens for your cataract surgery. Other than these tests, we ask that you not eat or drink anything 12 hours before your surgery.

What happens during surgery?

Cataract surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and usually takes about 40 minutes for the actual surgery. Patients should allow one hour for prep before the procedure and an hour for recovery afterwards. Medication will be given for relaxation and pain. To begin a few drops will be administered to the eye to make sure it is numb. A tiny incision is made and the cataract is removed using an ultrasound instrument. The intraocular implant lens is placed in the eye and a patch is placed over the eye for protection.

What happens after surgery?

After the operation you will rest while the medical team monitors your recovery. Mild discomfort, itching and fluid discharge can be common but should disappear within a day or two. After surgery you will have eye drops to aid with healing and reduce the possibility of infection. You must avoid rubbing your eye and wear an eye shield or glasses to protect your eye. While at home you will be asked to take precautions by not lifting any heavy objects and being careful when bending. Healing should be complete within eight weeks and you will be scheduled for a follow-up exam.

Is cataract surgery effective?

Cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. It also is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. In about 90 percent of cases, people who have cataract surgery have better vision afterward. The doctors of Kumar Eye Institute have performed thousands of cataract surgeries.

What is Premium cataract surgery?

Conventional cataract surgery uses a standard focusing lens. After surgery patients will still have to rely on glasses to see clearly for their near vision especially when reading. With Premium cataract surgery a special intraocular lens is implanted. This lens allows patients to see clearly for distance as well as close without the use of glasses. Because Premium cataract surgery is seen as an upgrade to conventional cataract surgery it is not covered by commercial insurers or Medicare.