Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the country — yet many people don’t know exactly what a cataractis, or how one is treated. Dr. Ernest Kornmehl, a trusted Boston ophthalmologist, is pulling back the curtain about the common eye disease and tackling 10 of the most commonly asked questions about cataracts in this month’s blog post.
- What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Most cataracts are caused by the effects of aging on the eyes. As the eye ages, the proteins that make up the lens can start to clump together. Gradually the clumping becomes larger and cloudier, impeding vision.
- What are the symptoms of a cataract?
Cataracts are known to cause any of the following symptoms:
- gradual loss of vision
- frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- sensitivity to light
- poor nighttime vision
- inability to discern colors
- Can cataracts cause blindness?
If left untreated, cataracts can advance and eventually cause blindness.
- Can cataracts be treated with medicine?
No, the only way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the affected lens.
- When should I have cataract surgery?
When a cataract becomes large enough that it substantially interferes with vision and daily activities (e.g., reading, driving), it needs to be surgically removed.
- What happens during cataract surgery?
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is fragmented and the pieces are removed from the eye. An intraocular lens (known as an IOL) is placed in the eye to restore clear vision and focusing power.
The surgery typically takes about 15 minutes and takes place in a surgery center setting.
- Does cataract surgery hurt?
No. The eyes are numbed prior to treatment, and patients may receive a sedative medicine so they feel comfortable during the operation.
- Can I develop another cataract after surgery?
No, once a cataract has been treated, it cannot return. The eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens, which cannot develop cataracts. However, the area around the artificial lens can sometimes become clouded; this is easily treated with a special laser procedure.
- Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
Usually not. Thanks to advances in technology and IOLs, experienced cataract surgeons can improve vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
- Where can I find more information about cataracts?
To speak with experienced cataract surgeon Ernest Kornmehl, please contact Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates by calling (781) 237-3366 or sending an email today.