Many people who are planning to have cataract surgery ask us questions such as, “How long do cataract lenses last?” or, “ What is the life of a cataract lens?” and, “Are cataract lenses permanent or will you have to undergo cataract surgery multiple times?”
Let’s take a few moments to answer the most common questions regarding the permanence of cataract lenses.
Cataracts and cataract surgery: A brief review
A cataract is a naturally occurring vision problem that includes symptoms such as light sensitivity, double vision, and more. Check out the cataract stages in pictures for more information.
Cataract surgery is an effective way to correct this vision problem and rid yourself of those unwanted symptoms. The procedure is both fast and typically pain-free. There are also different types of lenses you can select (such as multifocal cataract lenses). Since cataract surgery involves the replacement of your natural lens, it’s natural to wonder “How long do cataract lenses last?”
How long do cataract lenses last, and does cataract surgery last a lifetime?
A cataract lens will last a lifetime, and the vast majority of patients do not experience any complications with their lenses after cataract surgery. In fact, the most common post-cataract surgery issue has nothing to do with your lens in particular.
Posterior capsule opacification
PCO, also known as posterior capsule opacification (commonly referred to as an “after-cataract” or a “secondary cataract”). A PCO is technically not a true cataract, although it can easily be confused for one.
With an after-cataract, the capsule that holds your lens becomes cloudy. The actual lens is fine. This particular issue is the most common cataract surgery complication and develops due to various extenuating circumstances such as steroid use, diabetes, or certain lifestyle habits.
PCO is not a serious complication, but to avoid unnecessary damage, it should not go untreated. Luckily, PCO can be rectified with a simple laser procedure. Your cataract lens will remain as-is during the procedure.
Can cataracts grow back?
Thankfully, once you undergo cataract surgery, your cataract will not grow back. The cataract is fully removed and a cataract lens is put in its place, which means there are no organic proteins to break down and cause blurry vision on your artificial lens.
Of course, following suggestions for how to prevent cataracts can still be beneficial for your eye health even after cataract surgery.
Here are a few quick tips on how to prevent future damage to your eyes:
- Limit sun exposure: UV light can damage your conjunctiva. Shield your eyes from the sun by regularly wearing sunglasses.
- Improve your diet: Do your best to improve your day-to-day diet, so you can avoid health issues (like diabetes) that are known to negatively impact your vision.
- Avoid or stop smoking: Smoking can lead to vision problems such as macular degeneration.
- See your eye doctor regularly: Stay up-to-date on eye checkups. This will allow you and your doctor to detect and treat issues before they become permanent problems.
What will my vision be like after cataract surgery?
After cataract surgery, you can expect your vision to clear up gradually. Blurry vision is normal during the first few hours to the first few days post-surgery. Three to six weeks after surgery, your vision should be clearer, noticeably improved, and fully stabilized. This timeframe will depend on your particular cataract and your chosen cataract lens.
If you do notice negative changes in your vision or if your post-surgery symptoms are not clearing up within the given timeframe, make sure to contact your doctor.
Can vision change after cataract surgery?
Unless you have a new issue that presents itself (like the after-cataract mentioned earlier or a separate eye disease), you should not have any cataract-related vision deterioration. In fact, you should notice many improvements, such as the ability to drive better at night and to complete everyday tasks with more ease. Keep in mind, however, that cataract surgery may not eliminate your need for glasses and cannot prevent your eyesight from changing in other ways.
Get your cataract surgery questions answered by Eye Center of Texas
So, how long do cataract lenses last? Typically, they last you a lifetime! Wondering when is the right time to have cataract surgery? Debating the cataract surgery cost? Eye Center of Texas can help.
Our surgeons have performed over 80,000 successful cataract surgeries in Houston. We can walk you through the cataract surgery process, answer your most pressing questions, and set up your initial consultation with our skilled team.
Better vision starts with Eye Center of Texas. Give us a call at 713-797-1010 or contact us online today to get started on your cataract surgery journey.
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