Left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. Cataract surgery is the only permanent solution.
At Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons, our doctors specialize in the detection and surgical treatment of cataracts for safe, effective care.
Why is cataract surgery highly recommended?
Cataract Surgery Can Restore Your Vision & Improve Your Life
Clear VisionDuring surgery, the clouded crystalline lens will be completely removed and replaced with an IOL for clearer vision. Patients can significantly reduce or eliminate their need for corrective eyewear by receiving a premium IOL.
Vision obstructed by cataracts can take a toll on your independence, limiting the activities you can complete on your own. It can also put you at risk of injury. Undergoing cataract surgery can allow you to reclaim your independence.
Improved Quality of LifeOften, patients suffering from cataracts struggle with their self-confidence and experience a diminished quality of life. After treatment, many patients find that nearly every aspect of their daily life is drastically improved.
What happens during cataract surgery?
Patients pursuing cataract surgery have a number of artificial lens options to restore their vision. Our West Nyack and Garnerville, NY, locations offer monofocal, toric, and presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses (IOLs) to replace your cloudy, natural lens. We can provide the precise, safe treatment you need to restore your vision during a quick, out-patient procedure to improve your vision and quality of life.
Do You Qualify for Cataract Surgery?
Good Overall Health
Patients should be in good health before undergoing any surgery.
Reduced Quality of Life
Surgery is only recommended if your cataracts undermine your ability to be independent.
Need for Bright Light
Cataracts often force you to rely heavily on bright lights to make up for poor vision quality.
How Cataracts Impact Vision
When a cataract forms within the lens of the eye, vision can become blurred and significantly impacted. To treat cataracts, the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. Known as an intraocular lens, or an IOL, this artificial lens restores the ability to properly focus light on the retina.
What to Expect During Surgery
Cataract surgery is relatively quick. It takes about 30 minutes to complete and you can return home after your procedure. After dilating the pupil, we will numb your eye with specialized anesthetic eyedrops. Once the eye is numbed and you are ready, we can create a small incision in the eye. Through this incision, we will use an ultrasonic device to break the natural, clouded the lens into smaller pieces for easier removal. This step creates less of an impact on the surrounding tissues and allows us to gently remove the lens pieces with suction.
Once the natural lens has been completely removed, we can place an artificial lens and close the incisions. We will place a protective bandage as well as a plastic shield to protect your eye. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home after your surgery. Your vision will typically be much clearer almost immediately following the surgery, and will continue to improve somewhat as your eye recovers. We will have you return for a follow-up appointment the next day. Generally, if you have cataracts in both eyes, we only perform surgery on one eye at a time.
You will need someone to drive you home from your surgery, and you will most likely still be unable to drive to and from your first follow-up visit the day after. Following your procedure, you should plan on resting for at least one day after your surgery. To prevent placing extra pressure on the eye, you should also avoid bending over, strenuous activities, and lifting heavy objects for at least two to three weeks. We also recommend avoiding swimming and hot tubs during the first couple weeks to prevent infection.
We provide most patients with a patch or protective shield after surgery. We may recommend wearing the shield during the first few days following your surgery and especially while you sleep for the first week at least. Your doctor will prescribe eyedrops to prevent infection and inflammation. In most cases, any discomfort subsides within a few days after surgery and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Most patients can return to normal activities like watching TV and light computer work within a day or two. You can expect to return to work within a few days to a week, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. If you have cataracts in both eyes, we generally wait until the first eye has healed before operating on the second. This process reduces the risk of complications and makes the recovery periods easier.
What to Expect During Your Follow-Up Visits
Generally, you will return to our office the day after your cataract surgery for your first follow-up visit. Your doctor will evaluate the incisions, the protective bandage, and your eyesight. You will most likely not be able to drive to and from this appointment on your own. While you may notice immediate improvements in your eyesight, it can take a few days for your vision to begin to stabilize and for you to adjust to your new intraocular lens.
You will return for additional follow-up visits about a week after your surgery and again a month after surgery. During all your appointments, you should report any complications or concerns you have, such as pain, dry eyes, or blurry vision. These visits will allow your doctor to address your concerns and check your healing progress.
The staff at Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons is available to answer any questions to help ensure your recovery progresses as smoothly as possible.
The Need for Adequate Cataract Surgery Recovery
It usually takes several weeks to fully heal after cataract surgery, and during this time, it is important to follow the recovery guidelines given to you by your doctor. Failing to follow the post-operative instructions provided can lead to complications such as:
- Vision loss
To prevent these potentially severe complications, we will provide detailed guidelines about activities to avoid and how to protect your eyes. The staff at Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons is available to answer any questions to help ensure your recovery progresses as smoothly as possible.
There are different IOL options that can improve vision problems in addition to addressing cataracts. We offer, monofocal, toric, and multifocal artificial lenses. Your vision is very important, and it can seem difficult to choose the right artificial lens. We have developed a lifestyle questionnaire to help patients determine which type of IOL may work best for them.
With a safe, proven procedure we can help you better see the faces of the people you love and enjoy the world around you once more.
Advantages of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery can eliminate any blurred vision you may have been experiencing due to the cataract. As an added bonus, you can select an IOL to help improve your overall vision as well. This can reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts. With a safe, proven procedure we can help you better see the faces of the people you love and enjoy the world around you once more.
Is Cataract Surgery Right for You?
If you are experiencing clouded or blurry vision, you may have a cataract. Contact our ophthalmology office online or call (845) 947-2240 to schedule an appointment so we can conduct a thorough examination.