A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that occurs in people as they age. Common symptoms of cataracts include cloudy, blurry or faded vision, glare, or frequent eyeglass prescription changes. You may also experience double vision, or multiple images in one eye.
The symptoms of a cataract may be lessened with new eyeglasses or brighter lighting, but if your vision loss is affecting everyday activities like reading or watching TV, it may be a sign that you need cataract surgery.
“The standard of care in cataract surgery is phacoemulsification,” Dr. Samuel D. Friedel, University of Maryland School of Medicine Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, says. “The cataract lens is replaced with a lens implant which is permanently placed in the eye. The implant never has to be replaced and it does the majority of the function that the natural lens used to do.”
Cataract surgery is performed using minimally invasive surgical techniques for a faster recovery. An incision is created and then phacoemulsification starts, which liquefies the cataract so it can be removed through the tiny incision.
The surgical time for cataract surgery is approximately 15 minutes. Patients are able to leave shortly after the surgery and can resume their normal activities the next day.
If you are 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years.