If you have cataracts, you may be able to put up with cloudy vision for a few years, but eventually, you'll probably need surgery to remove the cataracts and improve your vision. That's because cataracts continue to grow, and your vision gets progressively worse over the years. At some point, your vision may become so impaired you have difficulty driving at night, or you may increase your risk of falling. Cataract surgery is very common and it is a relatively safe procedure. It is even being done with lasers now, which lowers the risks further. Here are a few things to know about having your cataracts removed with a laser.
No Incisions By Hand
While your eye doctor is probably quite proficient at performing cataract surgery by hand, there is always some risk involved with the procedure, especially when making manual incisions. When you have the laser procedure, it eliminates the need for your doctor to make an incision with a metal instrument. That reduces the risk of something going wrong during the procedure. In addition, the laser is controlled by computer software that calculates the size of your lens and the cataract, so the work is much more precise than what can be achieved by human hands.
Less Ultrasound Is Needed
In traditional cataract surgery, the cataract and lens are broken up with an ultrasonic needle and then the pieces are vacuumed out of your eye. With laser surgery, the tiny laser softens and breaks up the lens and cataract so they can be vacuumed out of the way. This process is more gentle on your eye and may reduce the risk of surgery complications. Laser surgery allows your doctor to eliminate or reduce the use of ultrasound energy, which results in less trauma to your eye. This not only reduces the risk of complications, it may also help your eye heal more quickly.
Process Is Similar To Traditional Surgery
Traditional cataract surgery is usually a quick procedure that is done in your eye doctor's office or clinic. Laser surgery is no different. Of course, if you want to have laser surgery, you need to make sure the doctor you choose has the necessary laser device, computer, and software system in the office, because many doctors still do the procedure by hand. If you have cataracts in both eyes, you'll probably only have one eye done at a time since your vision may be blurry for a few days. Your eyes will be dilated and numbed with medication before the doctor begins, and you'll probably go home with an eye patch.
During the surgery, your doctor may be able to insert a new lens that corrects any vision problems you have such as being farsighted or nearsighted. Then, once you've healed from your surgery, the cloudiness will be gone and your vision might be improved enough to allow you to go without glasses. Deciding on the right time to have the laser surgery depends on different variables. If your cataracts grow slowly, you may be able to put off the surgery for a long time. However, it isn't worth postponing the procedure if your vision is impaired to the point where it affects your quality of life.
For more information, contact Country Hills Eye Center or a similar location.
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