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Cataract Answers from Our Las Vegas Ophthalmologist
Cataracts can cause fear as well as frustration -- and the idea of cataract removal surgery may be causing you even more anxiety. But don't worry! Here are answers to common questions on this subject from our Las Vegas ophthalmologist, Dr. Brimhall.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a problem afflicting the lens of the eye. Normally the proteins in the lens remain separated to let light shine through, but over time they can clump together. This makes the lens opaque or "cloudy" looking.
Why do cataracts form?
Most cataracts are a natural side effect of the aging process, typically starting around age 50 and affecting up to half of all 65-year-olds. In some cases, however, cataracts can form quickly due to steroid use, UV exposure, diabetes and other factors.
What are the telltale signs of cataracts?
Fuzzy or blurry vision, accompanied by sunburst or halo effects around bright lights, are common cataract symptoms. you may also experience altered color perception, low vision (especially at night) and extreme sensitivity to glare.
Do I have to get cataract surgery immediately?
For most people, cataracts develop so gradually that you may have serviceable vision for many years. Once your vision cannot be corrected adequately through other means and the symptoms are interfering with your quality of life, it's time to schedule cataract removal surgery with our Las Vegas ophthalmologist.
How does cataract removal surgery work?
It involves making a small flap in the capsule of tissue that holds the diseased lens. Ultrasound is used to break the lens into fragments for easy removal. Our eye surgeon then inserts an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is then inserted into the capsule to take the old lens's place, and the capsule is closed up again.
Is the surgery painful or difficult?
Cataract surgery isn't painful because the eye is numbed with anesthetic eye drops. The surgery takes only a few minutes as an outpatient procedure. You will, however, need to arrange for someone to transport you home.
What is the recovery period like?
You'll need to wear an eye cover at night to prevent you from accidentally hitting or rubbing the eye in your sleep. Our ophthalmologist will give you eye drops to use regularly for a period of time. Be careful not to lift any heavy object or otherwise strain yourself for a week or so after surgery.
Will my vision be as good as it was before the cataracts?
In most cases, your vision will be as clear as if you had never had cataracts. A small number of patients have a secondary clouding of the artificial lens, but this is easily cleared up in a follow-up procedure called Yag laser capsulotomy.
Learn More from Our Las Vegas Eye Surgeon
If you have more questions about cataract surgery, call the Brimhall Eye Center at (702) 263-2020. Our Las Vegas eye surgeon can help put all your worries to rest!