Cataracts and cataract surgery, explained | Ohio State Medical Center

What a cataract is is a cloudy lens so how I like to explain it is that the lens of the eye is kind of like the lens of a camera. It helps you focus what you’re seeing, and when we’re younger the lens of the eye is clear and as we get older the lens of the eye becomes more cloudy and more yellow. Over time, that cloudiness becomes more of a bother because it makes the vision really blurry. So the cloudy lens is what we call a cataract, and the cloudy lens typically takes years to get to the point to where it becomes cloudy enough to affect your vision. And so, once that cloudy lens becomes more blurry to where your vision is affected, that’s when we have you come in for an evaluation to decide if cataract surgery is what is needed. When a patient is ready for cataract surgery, it’s kind of a team effort and what I mean by that is that the patient usually will come in having different symptoms like glare, when they are driving at night or during the day, having difficulty with seeing the street signs or on the computer. They’ll have just some overall blurriness to the vision. And then when you come in for the evaluation, we typically will check your vision and we’ll do some tests to evaluate the health of the eye. And then after we determine that the cataract is what is causing the blurry vision, then we proceed with doing some measurements in order to see if you are a good candidate for a different type of implants for cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is done in our outpatient surgery center. And when you arrive to the surgery center, the friendly staff will kind of get the preoperative assessment done. And then once you get back into the surgical area, we numb the eye with numbing eye drops and then you’re lying on a bed and it takes about five to 10 minutes to remove the lens of the eye and then replace the lens with an implant and after about five to 10 minutes you’re done basically. I think the thing that people find most surprising about cataract surgery is that they were initially really anxious when they started the process and then by the end of it they find that it was so painless, it was a stress-free situation that they thought was going to be really really stressful but then they find how great their vision is afterwards and they forget all about it afterwards. So typically, we have you use an antibiotic eye drop and then we have you use a steroid eye drop and then we have you use another eye drop to help accelerate the healing process. After about 24 hours, the vision goes from blurry to a little bit clearer. And then after about a couple days, it becomes clearer. And after about a week, your vision is pretty much clear. It takes about a month for the entire healing process, and then people are pretty happy. Cataract surgery helps me make a small impact in people’s lives, and it’s just a lot of fun to be able to impact people in that way to help them drive or see the things they felt they were missing before.

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