If you have cloudy eyes thanks to a cataract, you can actually have that repaired—and it’s fairly easy too! The surgery will replace your cloudy lens with a new, man-made one. This new lens will improve your vision. It will be like you have an entirely new eye, because in a way you do! With all the damage removed, you will be able to see clearly again.
The Surgery Itself
The surgery is short. You will be in and out in just a day, and the surgery usually takes less than an hour. You won’t even be put to sleep; most patients only require local anesthesia.
There are two main surgeries that can be performed to replace your lens. The first is small incision surgery, where your doctor will make a small cut in the side of the clear covering of your eye, called the cornea. He or she will then insert a probe into the eye which uses ultrasound waves to destroy your natural lens. Once the lens is in little pieces, it is suctioned out of your eye. Once the intraocular lens (or IOL) is inserted into the remaining lens capsule, the eye is left to heal. The incision is so small that you usually don’t even need stitches.
The second surgery is called extracapsular surgery. A larger cut will be made in the cornea, and the lens is removed through that cut. The main difference is that the lens will be in one piece, hence the larger opening. Sometimes this is necessary because very cloudy lenses and advanced cataracts cannot be broken up by ultrasound waves. After the lens is removed, the same process for inserting the IOL is used as above.
Enjoying Your New Sight
Although you will be able to go home almost immediately following the surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself. For a few days, your activity will be limited, as you won’t be able to drive, bend, lift, or extremely exert energy. There may be some itching and fluid discharge, but overall your discomfort shouldn’t be too bad. Simply try to avoid touching your eye to allow it to heal. After the healing process is over, you will return for a follow up appointment to check its success and update your eye prescriptions.