Options Available to Treat Cataracts Feb20

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Options Available to Treat Cataracts

Cataracts require professional intervention to improve the eyesight of affected patients. Treatment options include non-surgical therapies and artificial lens replacement at certified cataract surgery centers.

The kind of cataract you have and its severity will determine your treatment plan, although all cataracts will require surgical removal eventually.

Non-surgical cataract treatment

The goal of cataract treatment is to improve your sight. Cataracts cause blurry vision, reduced color perception, hypersensitivity to bright lights, and difficulty seeing at night.

Some of these symptoms can be alleviated with magnifying lenses and sunglasses. Anti-glare lenses can reduce halos from artificial light sources at night while positioning lamps in different ways can help when reading.

Your doctor may recommend that, in addition to wearing sunglasses, you wear a hat to protect your eyes from UV light, which can help slow the progress of your cataract.

Surgical treatment for cataracts

If cataracts are interfering with your daily activities and non-surgical treatments are not improving your vision to a satisfactory level, it may be time for cataract surgery.

Talk with your physician about all aspects of the procedure, so you completely understand the benefits, risks, and the results you can expect.

Cataract surgery is usually performed on one eye at a time to minimize the risk of possible complications. It involves the removal of the clouded lens and the insertion of a synthetic one in its place. The procedure takes place in outpatient surgery centers under local anesthesia. Most patients can go home very soon after the operation.

Three common cataract surgeries

The most popular cataract removal procedure is phacoemulsification or small-incision cataract surgery. An ultrasonic device that vibrates at high speeds is inserted through a tiny incision, softening the lens and breaking it up into small pieces.

Your surgeon will remove the pieces via suction before implanting the artificial lens. In some cases, a single suture may be required to close the incision.

Extracapsular cataract surgery involves the removal of the center part of the lens in one piece while leaving the rest intact. The incision used for this method typically requires several sutures to close. The elastic capsule that covers the lens remains partially attached for easier implantation of the new intraocular lens.

Advanced cases of cataracts may require intracapsular cataract surgery. This procedure involves removal of the whole lens and capsule via a large incision. It is reserved for lenses that have dislocated due to disease or injury. The new lens is usually placed in front of the pupil or fastened to the wall of the eye with stitches.

Each type of cataract surgery removes the source of the cloudiness and restores visual clarity for the patient. Only you and your eye doctor can determine if surgical cataract removal is the best course of action for your specific case.

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