Cataract Surgery: How To Know When You Need It & What To Expect
Cataracts are common and affect almost 75% of the U.S. population aged 65 and older. Cataracts are a gradual clouding and hardening of the eye’s lens, which results in reduced vision as you age. The most common symptoms of cataracts are blurring and dimming of vision, which may appear as a persistent glare or filminess, especially when the eyes are exposed to bright lights. With most cataracts, visual impairment progressively worsens without treatment.
Fortunately, cataract surgery is as common as the condition itself, and is usually very successful for restoring healthy vision. During cataract surgery, the eye surgeon removes the cloudy and hardened lens and replaces it with a new, artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Depending on a patient’s vision, a specific intraocular lens may be used to correct other distortions in vision, which may reduce or eliminate dependence on corrective eyeglasses.
Cataract symptoms often begin around the age of 40, but how do you know when it’s time to start thinking about cataract surgery? If you’re over the age of 40, watch for any of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Squinting or blinking to get better focus.
- Double vision in only one eye.
- Dimmed vision, needing brighter light when reading.
- Worsening night vision, increased trouble driving at night.
- Increased sensitivity to bright light, whether artificial or from the sun.
- Seeing halos around lights, lamps or headlights
- Fading or yellowing of colors.
- Needing frequent changes to eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions.
Because the primary symptoms of cataracts are similar to many other eye conditions, a complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist is required to ensure a proper diagnosis. The ophthalmologist will examine the front part of your eye and lens with a biomicroscope (often called a slit lamp), and the back of the eye with an ophthalmoscope. Depending on the diagnosis, the ophthalmologist should be able to tell you whether your cataracts are likely to progress slowly or rapidly, and can help you determine when to schedule cataract surgery.
When cataracts are the only issue, the surgery procedure can lead to improved vision in over 95% of cases. The skilled surgeons at Baptist Eye Surgeons are well-versed in a number of advanced procedures, including the insertion of advanced technology lenses like toric and multifocal lenses. The surgeons at Baptist Eye Surgeons were also the first in the region to perform no-stitch or one-stitch cataract surgery.
Using these innovative techniques and technologies enables our patients to have a speedier recovery time, with a quick return to their daily activities which they can enjoy with significantly improved vision. To learn more about what to expect during and after the procedure, read The Complete Guide To Cataract Surgery.
If you’re concerned about cataracts, schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted eye surgeons in Knoxville or Morristown, or call us at 865-579-3920.
With offices in Knoxville, TN and Morristown, TN, Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To learn about our specialities and our doctors, visit our website.