Is cataract surgery safe? Since very few people research vision correction until they need it, cataract surgery can, at first, seem a little scary and unfamiliar. When patients learn that they need cataract surgery, so many questions come up. Patients ask, “Is cataract surgery safe?” “How serious is cataract surgery?” and, “How much does cataract surgery cost?”
Today, Eye Center of Texas will help prospective cataract surgery patients answer one of these questions: “Is cataract surgery safe?” To better understand why cataract surgery is safe, we’ll cover the basics of cataracts and cataract surgery, and equip you with the knowledge you need to get your best vision.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. They occur when the lens of your eye clouds up, leading to an impairment of vision. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to extreme cloudiness of vision and even blindness. Nearly 90% of people will develop a cataract by the age of 65.
The commonality of cataracts leads us to the first in a long list of reasons for why cataract surgery is safe. Cataract procedures have had a long time to develop (cataract surgery has been performed since the days of ancient Greece) are are now safe and effective. Cataract surgery is also safer than many surgeries because it addresses a natural degenerative condition instead of a disease or infection that attacks your body.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
Cataracts develop gradually, so patients may not notice at first they have cataracts. Over time, you might start to notice a reduction in your ability to see, or you may experience more glare in your vision.
However, the best way to know whether you have a cataract is to schedule a convenient and comprehensive cataract evaluation with the team at at Eye Center of Texas. A cataract evaluation consists of a variety of tests, such as a visual acuity test, a contrast sensitivity test, a slit lamp test, and a pupil dilation test. The results of these tests will help to determine whether you have cataracts and, if so, whether treatment is (or will be) necessary.
How does cataract surgery work?
In the traditional cataract surgery procedure, a blade was used to manually make incisions into the eye. Many Houston cataract surgeons still use this method. But one of the keys to answering the question of whether or not cataract surgery is safe lies within today’s new cataract surgery procedure.
This new procedure is known as blade-free cataract surgery. To perform this procedure at Eye Center of Texas, our surgeons will first create a 3D image of your eye so that the surgeon can develop the most exact plan, customized to your specific condition. Then our doctors perform the blade-free cataract surgery using a revolutionary laser controlled by a computer. This advanced technique is designed to provide the safest, most precise treatment. (Further reading: What to expect during cataract surgery.)
After the cataract is removed, a lens implant is inserted into your eye and the wound is sealed. Once this is done, all that’s left for you to do is to go home and enjoy your cataract-free vision! Patients should be able to return to normal activity within a few days or less, but are given postoperative drops to help with any inflammation or infection that may occur.
Is cataract surgery painful?
Cataract surgery is not regarded as a painful procedure. Local anesthesia (typically a mild sedative for relaxation) paired with the precision of computer-controlled lasers make it possible for patients to feel little to no discomfort during the procedure.
Is cataract surgery safe?
Yes! Cataract surgery is an extremely safe procedure that can improve both vision and quality of life. The results of several studies underscore these conclusion.
- The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that patients over the age of 65 (and up 90 years old!) have received cataract surgery with excellent success rates.
- According to AllAboutVision.com and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 3 million Americans receive cataract surgery, with a success rate of over 98%.
- In a 12 year study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology demonstrated 99.5% of patients had no severe complications from cataract surgery, and that the risk of complications continues to decline with advances in cataract surgery.
Is cataract surgery right for me?
At first glance, Houston cataract surgery may seem frightening and intimidating. But thanks to Eye Center of Texas, thousands of Houstonians have enjoyed clear and renewed vision. Over 275 Houston-area eye doctors will refer their patients only Eye Center of Texas, and Dr. Mark Mayo is listed as of the top 10 LenSx laser cataract surgeons in the United States.
To find out if cataract surgery is right for you, schedule an appointment today.