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A Cataract occurs when the natural lens of the eye, located behind the iris and pupil, clouds up and makes it extremely difficult to see. A cataract hardly effects your vision at first because it starts out very small, causing objects to be only slightly blurry or slightly bright and glaring.
You can delay cataract surgery temporarily by getting an updated pair of prescription eyeglasses, using a magnifier or adjusting lighting. Eye surgery will eventually be necessary to completely remove the cataract. Cataract surgery is performed frequently, actually the most in the U.S., and enjoys a high success rate. However, just like with any other surgery, cataract surgery complications do exist. Secondary surgeries do exist to correct correct possible post-surgery complications.
Healing time for cataract surgery is about three to four weeks. Be sure to follow the instructions your eye doctor gives, as they are specific to each patient.
The surgery involves switching the natural, clouded lens for an intraocular lens (IOL). Depending on the patient's needs, different IOL options are available. Various types and combinations of IOLs help correct for myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia and can block blue light and ultraviolet rays. Therefore having cataract surgery can potentially alleviate the need for corrective eyewear such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Options available for patient include either monovision or the use of premium IOLs. Premium IOLs offer patients the ability to see at more than one distance after surgery. There are two types of premium IOLs:
- Accommodating IOLs, such as Crystalens from Bausch & Lomb, enable the patient to focus on objects at near, intermediate and distant objects by using their own eye muscles.
- Multifocal IOLs, such as ReStor from Alcon and ReZoom and Tecnis from AMO, function like the lenses in multifocal eyeglasses. The lens is divided into sectinos, with one part of the lens intented for near, intermediate and distance vision.
For more information on cataracts and cataract surgery, visit AllAboutVision.com's Consumer Guide to Cataracts.