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Mon, Jun 13, 2022
Cataracts are common, affecting more than half of all adults. The condition causes blurred vision and other difficulties seeing, but ophthalmologists can restore your sight with a simple outpatient cataract surgery.
At North Carolina Specialty Hospital, we’re proud to offer some of the most advanced cataract surgery options in the area, using cutting-edge technology to restore our patients’ vision in a few hours or less. Because cataracts tend to worsen over time, surgery is typically the most effective treatment option. At NCSH, we provide a high level of care for all of our procedures and treat our patients in state-of-the-art facilities.
Cataracts cause the lens inside your eye to become cloudy or fogged over. The lens is located behind your iris (the colored part of your eye) and is normally clear. This allows light to filter through. The lens focuses light, helping your eye and brain communicate and create an image.
As we age the proteins that form the lens begin to break down. They do not disintegrate entirely but instead remain on the lens. This can happen at different rates between eyes, and it might take a few decades before you even notice the effects. However, when cataracts do form, they can cause blurred or foggy vision, light sensitivity, night blindness, and sudden nearsightedness.
Cataracts develop slowly, and it’s not unusual for people to only become aware of having the condition when seeking out a stronger lens prescription, or realizing they may need glasses for the first time.
When cataracts first begin to develop, most people only need a new or stronger eyeglass prescription to counteract the effects on their vision. However, cataracts do typically worsen over time. Most eye doctors will recommend cataract surgery when cataracts start to disrupt vision and make it hard to read or drive. In some cases, cataract surgery is recommended to treat other vision problems caused by age or diabetes.
Other eye surgery options at NCSH include procedures to correct:
Our team of ophthalmologists uses the most advanced methods and tools to ensure all patients are restored to the best vision possible.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by an ophthalmologist. It usually takes about an hour and doesn’t require general anesthesia. Although you remain awake during the surgery, you won’t see or feel anything.
To restore your vision, the surgeon removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a clear plastic lens. This eliminates blurriness, helping you see better. There are two primary types of cataract surgery: phacoemulsification and extracapsular.
Most people have phacoemulsification surgery, which involves making a small incision in the eye, then using ultrasound to break up the cataract. The pieces are then suctioned out before the new lens is put in place.
If the cataract is especially large or thick, extracapsular cataract surgery might be required. This involves making a larger incision. The surgeon then removes the clouded lens in one piece before replacing it with the artificial lens.
In either case, side effects are minimal. Most patients have mild discomfort for a day or two, including itching, light sensitivity, watery eyes, and blurred vision. Within a week, these side effects should disappear.
Cataract surgery does not correct vision problems like myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism. If you wore glasses or contact before your cataract surgery, you will likely need to continue wearing them, albeit with a new prescription. Some people who have had laser vision surgery (like LASIK) also find that they need to have a repeat surgery to account for the removal of their cataracts.
Patients at NCSH have access to the most advanced surgical options for treating cataracts, including the LenSx® Laser Bladeless cataract surgery. This is a laser-assisted cataract surgery that improves accuracy and precision.
And because many patients struggle with administering eye drops after surgery to help prevent swelling and infection, our team of surgeons also uses the innovative and cost-effective Dropless™ cataract surgery. By injecting powerful antibiotics and corticosteroids into the eye during the procedure, surgeons eliminate the need for post-surgical eye drops.
From cutting-edge surgical options to the highest-quality definitive lenses, choosing NCSH for your cataract surgery means improved vision with less downtime. To learn more about eye surgery options and the commitment to excellence at NCSH, contact us today.
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