If you have blurred vision, or other complications due to a cataract in the lens of your eye, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cataract.
The lens is a clear disc that receives light through the pupil and focuses it on the retina to help produce a clear image.
The lens is mainly composed of water and proteins.
As you age, these proteins may begin to clump together and cloud the lens.
This clouding is called a cataract. A cataract can block light from entering your eye and cause blurry vision.
Before your procedure, you will be given eye drops to dilate your pupil, and the area around your eye will be washed.
In most cases you will be given an injection of local anesthetic around or behind your eye.
You may also be offered a sedative to help you relax. Most cataract surgeries last less than an hour.
The most common method for removing cataracts is phacoemulsification
In this procedure your surgeon will look through an operating microscope and make a tiny incision on the side of your cornea.
He or she will make an opening through the capsule of the lens, and use an ultrasound probe to break the cloudy lens into tiny fragments.
Next your surgeon will vacuum out these fragments through the incision.
Then, an artificial intraocular lens will be inserted.
Intraocular lenses are made of plastic, silicone or acrylic compounds - and will remain in place for the rest of your life.
Because the incision is very small, stitches are generally not necessary.
Vision often improves notably immediately after surgery.
After your operation, a patch will be placed over your eye, and you will be observed for a short time to be sure there are no problems, such as bleeding.
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, so you will likely go home the same day.
Since exposure to bright light may initially be uncomfortable, make arrangements for someone to drive you home.