Cataract FAQ

What is a cataract?

Contrary to popular belief, a cataract is not a film or a growth in the eye. A Cataract is the clouding of the natural lens in the eye which typically worsens with age. Did you know that everyone eventually develops cataracts? It actually begins to form in our 50s, but we don't have to worry about it until it starts to affect your vision. So if you have no problems seeing, you won't need cataract surgery quite yet. And the age at which cataracts affect the vision is different for every person. Some people develop cataracts that blur the vision very fast over a few months while others have cataracts that blur the vision very slowly over years. If you find yourself limiting your activities such as choosing to no longer drive at night, you may not realize that you probably have a cataract that's affecting your vision.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty with bright lights such as with night driving or the sunlight
  • Light sensitivity
  • Trouble reading or watching T.V.
  • Glare
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Color distortion, dingy vision

How are cataracts treated?

Phacoemulsification technology uses advanced sound waves to soften the cataract before it is removed from the eye.

After the cataractous lens is removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted in its place. There are several IOLs to choose from. The ophthalmologists at Professional Eye Associates can help you choose the best lens for your vision needs. For detailed IOL information, please visit our IOL FAQ page.

Is cataract surgery painful?

No. You are given numbing drops and a mild sedative to help you feel comfortable and at ease. Your ophthalmologist will use a small support-device to keep your eyelid open during cataract surgery. It may cause a feeling of slight pressure, but it is not painful. The vast majority of our patients are pleasantly surprised by how easy and relaxed they felt throughout the entire process. Time after time, our patients praise our skilled and caring staff as being an integral part of their positive experience. This is in large part because we have highly trained eye surgery staff and the only state-of-the-art, AAAHC-certified All-Eye-Same Day-Surgery-Center in the NW Georgia area dedicated for eye surgery and nothing else. You can't get this level of focused care if you go to a hospital for cataract surgery.

How much time will I need to recover from cataract surgery?

Most patients leave with no stitches, no bruising, and no pain. Because of the sedatives, you will need someone to drive you home. You are advised to rest for the remainder of the day and to use your after-surgery eyedrops as directed. You will also be asked to wear a plastic shield to cover the eye while you sleep for at least one week to protect you from inadvertently rubbing the eye. We will see you at the office on the following day to check that the eye is healing properly. Most patients are able to drive and commence routine activities the day after surgery.

What type of results can I expect from cataract surgery?

Immediately after the procedure, you may notice that the vision has improved, and it will continue to improve over time. Most patients are mostly healed by one week. If the vision is still blurry, it may be because there is refractive error (e.g. near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism), which can be corrected with a pair of glasses or contacts. If you are seeking the best vision without glasses or contacts, then a multifocal lens or an astigmatism correcting lens should be chosen before having cataract surgery. Ask your ophthalmologist about these options prior to your surgery.

Are there side effects from cataract surgery?

Although vision improves almost instantaneous, gaining your best vision will take several days. While your eyes are adjusting, you may experience mild side effects such as:

  • Irritation and discomfort
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Rings or halo vision
  • Shimmering of lights
  • An arc of light or shadow on the outer part of your vision
  • Light sensitivity

What should I do if I have a cataract that's affecting my vision?

Contact our office to schedule a consultation. Your consultation includes a thorough eye examination and discussion of your treatment options with our ophthalmologists. Your eye surgeon will spend as much time as you need to answer all of your questions.

At Professional Eye Associates, we offer the full range of vision correction procedures, as well medical and surgical treatments for the eye. If you're in the Dalton, Calhoun or Ellijay areas please call or e-mail us any time to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

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