There are many different disorders that can affect the eye. Unfortunately, a lot of them can cause blindness if they aren't treated quickly. One eye issue that can cause blindness is cataracts. A cataract is when the lens of the eye develops a cloudy or opaque appearance. As it progresses, you lose more of your ability to see. Here are three things you need to know about cataracts and cataract surgery.
1. Cataracts don't just affect senior citizens.
While it is true that cataracts is largely an age-related issue that develops as you get older, cataracts can also affect those who are a bit younger. This is especially the case if you have diabetes.
Diabetes is either a condition where your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin for your body (Type 1) or a condition where your body is resistant to insulin and doesn't respond correctly to it (Type 2).
It is not quite clear how or why diabetes can cause younger individuals to develop cataracts, but it can. Not only can it cause cataracts to develop at a younger age, it can also cause your cataracts to progress at a much quicker pace. That means, if you have diabetes, you need to see your ophthalmologist regularly to make sure you aren't developing cataracts or other harmful eye conditions. The quicker your doctor can catch the cataract, the quicker they can perform surgery to get it corrected.
2. There are different types of cataract surgery available.
When it comes to having cataract surgery, there are several different options available. They all remove the natural lens that has become cloudy and replaces it with an artificial lens. The different types of cataract surgery are:
- Phacoemulsification - This surgery is most common and uses an ultrasonic tool to emulsify the natural lens in order to remove it from the eye. It requires only a small eye incision.
- Extracapsular cataract extraction - This surgery involves manually removing almost the entire lens from the eye through a large incision.
- Manual small incision surgery - This surgery requires a smaller incision than extracapsular surgery, but the lens is removed from the eye through a scleral tunnel wound that's self-sealing.
- Intracapsular cataract extraction - This surgery requires a large incision and the entire lens and lens capsule is removed at one time. This procedure has a high risk for complications, therefore it is only done on very rare occasions in developed countries, such as the U.S.
You will need to discuss the different cataract surgery options with your ophthalmologist before you schedule your procedure. Make sure you understand how the lens will be removed and how big your incision will be.
3. Cataract surgery is actually fairly quick.
Whenever you have cataract surgery, you actually won't spend a lot of time getting the procedure done. In most cases, as long as there are no complications, your cataract surgery can be performed in about 10 minutes. You will then spend half an hour or so in recovery. As long as nothing goes wrong, and you have someone to drive you home, you will get to go home the same day.
To learn more, visit a website like http://www.drgrantmdretinalspecialist.com.