Did you know that cataracts are the number one cause of blindness worldwide? It estimated that over 17% of Americans alone have cataracts.
It is no wonder that people have concerns about losing their vision permanently because of cataracts. The good news is that thanks to cataract surgery, they are pretty simple to treat.
Having cataract surgery is also one of the safest surgeries you can have. It can’t be a coincidence that it’s also performed so often all over the world! Keep reading to learn more about cataracts!
Cataracts affect the lens of the eye, located behind the pupil. The lens serves an important function for vision. It further focuses light that passes through the cornea and pupil.
This allows light to land on the retina correctly. To achieve this purpose, the lens needs to remain translucent, or light is unable to pass through.
With age, the composition of the lens may begin to break down. This causes the proteins that normally align, allowing light to come through to clump together.
When proteins clump together, it becomes harder and harder to see. This clump of proteins is what a cataract is.
When the proteins clump together, they first form in a way that’s still able to let some light through. It’s also so small that vision loss is barely noticeable if noticed at all.
But over time, these proteins will get darker and grow larger. They eventually become a cataract and block a significant amount of light from being able to enter the eye.
For most people, this leads to partial or total vision loss or even blindness. But, the good news?
If you have cataract surgery, you can get your vision back!
Cataracts themselves are not removable from the lens of the eye. Instead, your surgeon removes the entire lens of the eye during cataract surgery.
During the procedure, this involves creating an opening in the cornea and then using a sonic device. The sonic device breaks apart the lens so it fits through the opening. These pieces are then removed using gentle suction.
But, you need your lens to see, so you’ll have an artificial lens put in to replace your natural lens, also known as an intraocular lens. An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens designed for lens replacement surgeries.
IOLs are surprisingly customizable and are selected before the procedure depending on your financial and vision preferences.
Standard IOLs are monofocal, meaning they only provide you with vision at one fixed distance. This means you will need to continue wearing glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.
Premium IOLs can provide vision at near and far distances, as well as at an intermediate distance. They are not usually covered by insurance, but many people enjoy the benefits of not needing to rely on glasses as much, or in some cases not at all.
If you select a premium IOL, your vision may even end up being better than it has ever been, as they can even correct for pre-existing refractive errors!
You don’t need to worry if you have cataracts. The first step is to schedule a cataract screening. Schedule yours at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!
Cataract surgery can be an intimidating journey, but it shouldn’t frighten you. The process of removing cataracts is very well understood and is always being perfected.
The procedure has a low risk of failure, with most people who undergo it ending up with vision that’s as good or better than they’ve had before. The surgery itself takes minutes to complete.
It’s one of the most commonly performed medical procedures as well. Thanks to numbing eye drops, cataract surgery is also painless. The hard work comes after the surgery though as you recover.
Recovery from any surgery is going to be difficult. Fortunately for people who have cataracts, recovering from it is quite straight forward.
But no matter how careful you are, complications can still happen. Typically they occur due to something happening during the weeks and months that follow the procedure. Here are some ways to make your cataract surgery recovery as short and effective as possible!
Rest is a very important part of healing. Having cataract surgery will probably make you very tired, so napping right when you get home is a good idea.
Make sure to wear the eye shield that you’re given whenever you sleep during the beginning of your recovery. This will prevent you from damaging your eye while sleeping!
You won’t be able to drive yourself home from the clinic on the day of your procedure. Plan to have a ride to and from the office ahead of time to minimize stress on the day of.
You can still shower after the surgery, but you should avoid being submerged in water. This means no baths or swimming, and be sure to do your best to avoid getting water in your eyes when you do shower.
Even clean water is the perfect home for bacteria to breed in. You are more likely to get an infection during the early stages of recovery after you have cataract surgery.
During the surgery, an incision is made into your cornea. This incision is what needs to heal afterward. At the very beginning of the healing process, it is incredibly easy for this incision to open.
Take great care to make sure that this does not happen. Even bending over at the waist can create enough pressure in your eye to damage it.
Heavy lifting is a bad idea for a few days. You will be able to return to a steady exercise routine within a few weeks. Your ophthalmologist at Vision Care of Maine will let you know when it’s safe to exercise again.
After your cataract-removal surgery, come back to our office in Bangor, ME so we can check on your progress as you heal. Monitoring your recovery is crucial, so we can intervene as soon as possible if anything goes wrong.
Blurry vision and some discomfort are normal during the beginning of your recovery. If you experience significant pain or your vision changes suddenly after a few days, come see us early.
Ready to find out if it’s time for you to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Brewer, ME!
As you get older, your risk for developing cataracts only becomes more likely. Eventually, you will have to deal with them.
It’s almost inevitable that you will develop one. Most cataracts progress quite slowly.
Knowing that you have them early in their development is very helpful. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, cataracts could be to blame. Keep reading for 7 ways to know you have cataracts!
The primary symptom of having cataracts is experiencing vision loss. This occurs because as cataracts develop and mature inside of the lens, they block light from reaching the retina.
This only gets worse as they develop and get larger over time. The shadows that the cataracts cast on the retina represent a lack of information reaching the light sensitive tissue.
For many people with cataracts, this shows itself as blurry or clouded vision. It’s a lot like trying to look like a foggy or dirty window.
Not all cataracts are the same. While most begin forming in the middle of the lens and grow outwards, the reverse can happen.
These are called “cortical cataracts”, and they grow in wedges pointing in all around the perimeter of the lens like spokes on a bicycle wheel. As light enters the eye, it scatters off of these wedges and bounces around the interior of the eye, creating a fair amount of glare.
This can even be painful or uncomfortable to experience.
Since cataracts affect your ability to see by blocking light, this is most noticeable in low light situations. If you are finding it difficult to drive at night, stop immediately and get your eyes checked.
It’s safer to find a friend or family member that can drive you around until you have cataract surgery.
Cataracts can cause some interesting vision aberrations to occur. Depending on the kind of cataract and how far along it is, halos may begin to appear around fixed points of light.
This may become particularly distracting while you’re driving.
Cataracts themselves are colored, which can affect the color of light that passes through them if they are not totally opaque. Everything may begin to appear to have an ugly yellowish-brown tint to it, which can drastically reduce contrast.
You may begin to see things that are white as being yellow, or even a muddy brown when you have cataracts.
Occasionally, cataracts may cause you to see double images in one eye. This experience is incredibly disorienting, but is one of the less common symptoms.
One interesting effect that can happen from cataracts is that your vision may slightly improve, if only temporarily. Second sight, as it is sometimes referred to as, occurs when the cataract causes the lens to swell up.
This will make your near vision improve. But as lucky as this might sound, it is not long lasting. The cataract will inevitably allow less light in as it becomes more opaque, causing vision loss.
The only true way to know that you have cataracts is to have them diagnosed by a professional. Set up a cataract screening with Vision Care of Maine in Bangor!
At your cataract screening, you can learn about cataracts, cataract surgery, and how to cope with vision loss until you can have them removed.
Cataracts are a problem most of us must face at some point. They happen when the lenses in your eyes cloud over. This prevents light from entering and causes a wide array of vision problems.
Symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, difficulty seeing in low light, prescription changes, glare, halos, and double vision. But cataracts grow slowly over time.
It means you can live with cataracts and not even know it! Cataracts can start developing as early as your forties or fifties.
Cataract surgery only becomes necessary if your quality of life is affected. Schedule a cataract screening in Bangor, Maine at Vision Care of Maine.
This is the best way to find out if you are developing cataracts, and when surgery may be appropriate if you are. Keep reading to learn more about cataract surgery and what to expect!
Cataract surgery involves more than removing a cataract. Cataracts grow inside the lens of the eye. As a result, cataract surgery involves removing the entire lens of the eye.
The lens is then replaced with an artificial lens or IOL. An IOL, short for intraocular lens, is a small and durable device that replaces the natural lens of the eye.
There are several different kinds of IOLs that have different functions. The standard type of IOL is called a monofocal IOL.
Monofocal IOLs correct vision at a single distance. This means that you will need to use glasses after cataract surgery.
There are also premium IOL options. Premium IOLs can provide sight at many distances. They may be able to correct your vision enough for you to not need glasses, even if you wore them before!
To remove the lens and make room for the IOL, your cataract surgeon will make an incision in the cornea. A small probe is then inserted through an opening into the pupil, and down to the lens.
The probe emits high-frequency sound waves. This is a process known as phacoemulsification that breaks the lens down.
The remaining pieces of the lens are then carefully removed. After removing all pieces of the lens, the IOL can take the place of the lens through insertion.
The incision made into the cornea is flap-like, so your surgeon can close it at the end of cataract surgery. The flap doesn’t need stitches. Instead, the cornea will reattach itself during the recovery process.
Recovering from surgery is never fun. The good news about recovering from cataract surgery is it’s pretty straightforward.
During recovery, you’ll need to limit yourself and avoid activities that may put your eyes at risk. This includes things like exercise, sports, or swimming.
While you are recovering, your eyes will be particularly vulnerable to infection. The flap will be especially at risk for developing complications.
Under no circumstances should you rub your eyes. If you experience temporary dry eyes as a result of the surgery, use eye drops to refresh your eyes.
Ready to take the next step and find out if you need surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!