What to Expect During Cataracts Surgery?
Cataracts is defined as a loss of transparency of the eye’s lens. Its effect can be compared to looking through a frosted or tinted window. Initially, the opacity may affect only a limited area of the lens and therefore go unnoticed. However, it tends to evolve gradually, leading to a reduction in the quality of vision.
It is estimated that half of people between the ages of 65 and 75 will have cataracts. This figure rises to 70% among those over 75 years of age. If we live old enough, we will all eventually develop cataracts!
To date, no medication, vitamin supplement, or exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing or treating cataracts. Only surgery can provide definitive treatment for this condition.
When should you think about cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery can be considered when the cataract interferes with your daily activities. Your optometrist can determine with you, based on your symptoms, the appropriate time to operate on the cataract. The first step is to get an appointment for a consultation with an ophthalmologist.
To counter the long waiting lists in hospitals, it is possible to have surgery in private in a calm and safe environment with state-of-the-art technologies.
What is cataract surgery?
The intervention is a 1-day surgery with local anesthesia. Cataract surgeries involve the use of a high-frequency ultrasound device that breaks up the cloudy lens into small pieces, which are then gently removed from the eye by suction.
This procedure, called phacoemulsification or "phaco", is now performed with smaller incisions than the surgical techniques of a few years ago. This promotes faster healing and greatly reduces risk.
Once the lens has been removed, the ophthalmologist inserts a clear intraocular lens, positioning it securely behind the iris and pupil, in the same place your natural lens occupied.
Laser cataract surgery
Private ophthalmology clinics, such as the IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic in Quebec, offer the latest generation technologies to provide you with a unique and personalized experience at all stages of your cataract surgery.
The choice of intraocular lenses
During the preoperative evaluation, the ophthalmologist will present you with the advantages and trade-offs of the different types of intraocular lenses. They can advise you on the choice best suited to your needs and lifestyle. The power and type of lens will be carefully chosen to ensure that your dependence on your glasses and/or contact lenses is reduced. You have several alternatives: see from afar, see up close or both.
The ophthalmologist has an arsenal of intraocular lenses to meet the specific needs of each person. No one kind of lens is perfect for everyone. Your surgeon will determine which is best for you. Your ophthalmologist will suggest the following intraocular lens alternatives.
- Toric monofocal (astigmatism compensation);
- Multifocal (presbyopia compensation);
- Toric multifocal (compensation for presbyopia and astigmatism).
Recovery and the return to your regular activities
For the first two weeks after surgery, all sporting activities such as golf, swimming, running, weight training, or cycling should be kept to a minimum. Yoga or any other exercise that requires bending forward is also prohibited. On the other hand, reading, watching television, using the computer, an electronic tablet and cell phone do not represent any danger. All of these activities can be resumed the day after surgery. For eye makeup and washing or removing makeup with soap and water, you will have to wait two weeks.