We’ve all heard about cataracts - a term used to describe when the lens within our eye becomes cloudy and unable to create clear pictures of the world around us. Without some form of treatment, cataracts can lead to blindness. And so, in many cases, surgery is proposed to help remove developing cataracts.
What does this entail? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, during cataract surgery "your eye's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant”. A surgical procedure of this nature actually once required that a surgeon:
- Make a small incision in the side of the cornea
- Insert a high-frequency ultrasound instrument to break up the center of the cloudy lens
- Carefully suction out the pieces of cloudy lens
- Replace the lens after removal by carefully inserting a plastic, silicone or acrylic replacement
Today, while the general steps for replacement haven’t changed drastically, modern technology and laser equipment has made the procedure much more precise and accurate. The entire procedure is painless - and once a new, clear lens has been put in, patients regain the ability to see clearly.
However, while cataract surgery is a common treatment option for this condition, it’s worth noting that any surgery can be considered invasive, and carries some risks. This includes cataract surgery options.
Issues such as post-surgical infections, increased risk of glaucoma, and even retinal detachment are unlikely but possibilities. Perhaps most annoying (but not as dangerous as a retinal detachment) is the risk of a secondary cataract, which may require additional treatments.
Because of these factors, our team at Everett and Hurite aims to treat cataracts through tried and true ) methods whenever possible. While we do offer cataract surgery to our patients, before recommending it, our team evaluates every patient to determine whether or not the procedure is a necessary part of their treatment.
Then, depending on the nature of the cataract or cataracts and symptoms, we may actually recommend that our patients try new glasses or delay surgery until the cataracts are ready to be removed.
Cataracts don’t need to automatically equal surgery. If you are looking for a second opinion and hoping to avoid an expensive procedure, we invite you to contact us and set up an appointment to evaluate your cataracts and develop a treatment plan that makes the most sense for your needs and your condition.