cataracts surgery

Cataracts Surgery: Layman’s Guide Detailing The Type, Cost, And Much More

Sight is the dominant sense that any medical condition affecting it causes a rippling effect on your life. Unfortunately, you stand a high chance of getting cataracts once you hit 40 years old. This condition occurs when proteins in the eye lenses cause vision difficulty.

There are different cataracts, such as nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular, and congenital. If you ignore it, it might become dangerous. This guide breaks down the type of surgery and cost and answers some frequently asked questions. 

Causes and Symptoms

Like other medical conditions, there are other cataract causes and symptoms apart from age. Major risk factors include excessive exposure to sunlight, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and previous eye injury or surgery. Additionally, excessive use of alcohol and prolonged use of corticosteroid medication can also cause this condition. Unfortunately, congenital can be genetic or due to intrauterine infection, affecting you from childhood. 

Some symptoms include dim or blurred vision, sensitivity to light, yellowing color, difficulty with night vision, and double single eye vision. Other early signs might consist of the need for brighter light for better vision. Provided that you have experienced any symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. The doctor can direct you if you need to change your lifestyle or recommend a cataract surgeon for corrective surgery.

Type of Corrective Measures and Cost

Currently, there are only two types of cataract surgeryand the surgeon will choose one depending on the condition’s severity. Although these surgeries are traditional or laser-assisted, they involve removing the affected lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL is an artificial lens that refracts light properly to your retina. 

Traditional cataract surgery

Traditional cataract surgery entails making a tiny cut on the side of your eye cornea using a scalpel. Then, the surgeon inserts a precision tool where the eye lenses sit and create a circular opening in the lens, and a probe breaks up the lens using sound.

After that, the broken lens is sucked and replaced with an IOL, and the surgeon fills the cornea with self-sealing liquid. As of 2022, this procedure costs around $3,500-$ 7,000 per eye before insurance.

Laser-assisted cataract surgery

Laser-assisted surgery uses 3D imaging and laser technology for precision. The surgeon creates a customized surgical plan using the 3D eye image in this procedure. The image assists the surgeon in mapping out the cataract and your eyes’ characteristics before using a femtosecond laser to incite your cornea.

The incision can be small or extracapsular (for core removal in one piece) depending on the severity. As the name suggests, this doesn’t involve the use of manual instruments to break the cataract. However, it costs more, with the latest average ranging from $4,000 to $6,000 per eye.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Surgeries

Eyes’ gravity makes the procedure one of the most questioned. The following are some of the frequently asked ones with detailed answers.

When is the right time for cataract surgery?

There is no perfect time to go for the surgery. As soon as you start experiencing the earlier mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention because delaying can lead to further damage.

Is cataract surgery painful?

No, cataract surgery isn’t painful. The surgeon will apply a numbing eye drop on your eye surface before the procedure, and this numbness will wear off a few hours after the procedure. However, note that you will feel some discomfort afterward.

Can you have both eyes cataracts surgery at a go?

You can’t have surgery on both eyes at a go. However, if the condition is severe, the surgeon can operate on one eye and then do the other eye after some days or weeks. The grace period gives the medical practitioner time to monitor the other eye’s healing process before operating on the other affected eye.

How long does cataract surgery take?

The procedure is straightforward and takes around 30 to 45 minutes. It can be carried out, and you go home the same day. However, healing time varies depending on how much the eye was affected. Under normal conditions, it takes up to three months to completely heal.

Which cataract surgery method is the safest?

Both laser-assisted and traditional cataract surgery are safe, and it’s because laser-assisted is more advanced and costlier. Additionally, it takes less time to heal if you go through laser-assisted surgery than the traditional method.

What are the side effects of cataract surgery?

You might experience swelling of the cornea during the first 24 hours. Apart from that, your vision may be blurrier after a day than when you left the operation room. However, some side effects will require the urgent attention of a cataract surgeon. Some of the alarming side effects include bleeding, inflammation, or infection.

Can cataracts grow back?

The cataract can’t grow back since the surgery removes the natural lenses. However, you can develop a condition known as secondary cataract, which also shows the same symptoms.

The eyes are essential body features that you need to take care of. However, the uncertainty of infections leaves you with nothing but to look for signs. It will help to use this guide to know the cataract causes and symptoms to be safe and take the necessary measures on time.

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