Ask the Experts at Collins Vision—Michael J. Collins, MD, FACS
At Collins Vision, we love to talk to people about cataracts and cataract surgery. We really do! And we truly love to help people understand what an exciting opportunity modern cataract surgery really is (and we’re going to get to that!).
As you might imagine, we hear many of the same questions from individuals who have recently been diagnosed with cataracts and from those who suspect they may have cataracts but don’t yet have a formal diagnosis. And we’d love to answer some of the most frequently asked questions here.
The Progression of Cataracts
Are cataracts a normal part of aging?
Yes! Most cataracts are age-related, meaning they happen because of normal changes that occur in your eyes as you have more birthdays. Although rare, you can get cataracts for other reasons, including after an eye injury or due to a medical condition.
How quickly do cataracts grow?
Most cataracts develop slowly over the course of years. Eventually, cataracts will cause cloudy vision, and many of our patients report symptoms such as blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, and trouble seeing in low-light situations. When cataracts begin to negatively affect your life, it’s time to talk about cataract surgery.
What age is right to get tested for cataracts?
Rather than a specific age, we like to tell patients to schedule a comprehensive, dilated eye exam if experiencing any of the following symptoms; cloudy or dull vision, colors look less vibrant, poor night vision, glares or halos, frequent prescription changes in your glasses and difficulty reading in low light.
What if I have cataracts but don’t get them treated?
Cataracts will continue to progress without surgery, resulting in vision loss over time. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens, also known as an intraocular lens (IOL).
Do cataracts hurt?
Cataracts are not painful, but many people do experience the discomfort of light sensitivity. Cataracts, left untreated, can begin to negatively affect your life as your vision diminishes.
Is cataract surgery dangerous?
While all surgeries come with some risk, the success rate for cataract surgery is exceptionally high. Most patients describe the procedure as having minimal to no discomfort. More than 2 million men and women undergo cataract surgery every year, making the procedure one of the most common and most successful medical procedures in the U.S. today.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
Generally, no, cataract surgery does not hurt. In fact, most patients report very little discomfort, both during and after the procedure. We use a light IV-sedation along with topical anesthetic eye drops to help make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
How does cataract surgery work?
The simple explanation is that during cataract surgery, your surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye to gently remove the cloudy lens (cataract) and replace it with a clear artificial lens that is designed to last a lifetime.
Will I be awake for cataract surgery?
Yes. In most cases, cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and you will be awake the entire time. Topical anesthetic eye drops help make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
Recovery From Cataract Surgery
Are there side effects after cataract surgery like headaches?
The most common side effect of cataract surgery is clear vision! A little swelling and redness after surgery is normal and will resolve on its own.
Do you have blurry vision after cataract surgery?
This one really depends on the type of lenses they pick. Certain lens combinations can take longer to adapt to but patients tell us all the time that the results are well worth this adaptation period.
How long is the recovery from cataract surgery?
Modern cataract surgery is a marvel! The incision is tiny and stitches are not required. It will heal completely by itself. Recovery time is impressively fast, thanks to advances in technology. Most patients return to normal activities within 24-48 hours of their procedure.
Refractive Cataract Surgery Offers Freedom
Now, more than ever before, you have the opportunity to make a lifestyle decision about your vision after cataract surgery.
I specialize in something we like to call Refractive Cataract Surgery, where the goal is to not only remove your cataract but to elevate your level of vision to reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eyewear. Whether you have astigmatism, are nearsighted or farsighted, or wearing readers due to presbyopia, our premium lens offerings could help you overcome your vision challenges and help you live your life to the fullest with the vision you deserve.
At Collins Vision, with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, we are here for you, and we would be honored to serve you. Enjoy your vision your way with cataract surgery at Collins Vision. We can’t wait for you to See the Difference.