Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means you likely do not have to stay overnight at a hospital. The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist.
This is a medical doctor who specializes in eye diseases and eye surgery. Adults are usually awake for the procedure. Numbing medicine local anesthesia is given using eyedrops or a shot. This blocks pain. You will also get medicine to help you relax. Children usually receive general anesthesia. This is medicine that puts them into a deep sleep so that they are unable to feel pain.
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After the cataract is removed, a manmade lens, called an intraocular lens IOL , is usually placed into the eye to restore the focusing power of the old lens cataract. It helps improve your vision. The doctor may close the incision with very small stitches. Usually, a self-sealing sutureless method is used. If you have stitches, they may need to be removed later. The surgery lasts less than half an hour. Most times, just one eye is done. If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor may suggest waiting at least 1 to 2 weeks between each surgery.
The normal lens of the eye is clear transparent. As a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy. This blocks light from entering your eye. Without enough light, you cannot see as clearly. Cataracts are painless. They are most often seen in older adults. Sometimes, children are born with them.
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Cataract surgery is usually done if you cannot see well enough because of cataracts. Cataracts usually do not damage your eye, so you and your eye doctor can decide when surgery is right for you. In rare cases, the entire lens cannot be removed. If this happens, a procedure to remove all of the lens fragments will be done at a later time.
Afterward, vision can still be improved. Very rare complications can include infection and bleeding. This can lead to permanent vision problems. The doctor will use ultrasound or a laser scanning device to measure your eye. These tests help determine the best IOL for you. Usually, the doctor will try to choose an IOL that can allow you to see without glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
Be sure you understand what your vision will be like after the IOL is implanted. Also, be sure to ask questions so that you will know what to expect of the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops before the surgery. You will usually have a follow-up exam with your doctor the next day. If you had stitches, you will need to make an appointment to have them removed. Recovery takes about 2 weeks.
If you need new glasses or contact lenses, you can usually have them fitted at that time. Keep your follow-up visit with your doctor. Thanks to nearly 6, volunteer ophthalmologists, this program has been offering eye care to eligible older Americans for more than 30 years and has helped more than 1. Under this program, if you are a U.
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If you are eligible for the program, you can schedule a free comprehensive eye exam with a participating ophthalmologist in your area. If eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, AMD or diabetic retinopathy are found, you also can receive free eye care for the condition for up to one year. The program does not cover the cost of eyeglasses , prescription drugs, hospital services or fees from other medical professionals.
Participating ophthalmologists will accept Medicare or other insurance as full payment, with no additional payment from you. If you don't have any insurance, the eye care is free. The greatest benefit of the EyeCare America program is that it encourages financially disadvantaged seniors to take care of vision problems before they worsen. Cataracts need to be monitored and eventually removed; glaucoma and ocular hypertension must be treated or monitored regularly.
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