Do You Have Cataracts in Both Eyes? Here’s What Treatment May Involve.
Cataracts represent one of the most common eye conditions of our time. Statistics indicate that nearly half of all adults have cataracts in one eye sometime after age 75 (sometimes, before). This might sound like bad news. It isn’t entirely. Having cataracts does mean that your vision may degrade over time. However, cataract removal surgery can restore clearer, healthier eyesight.
What are Cataracts?
The term cataracts can sound as though various growths develop in the eye. This is somewhat inaccurate. Cataracts are clumps of protein that stick together in the lens of the eye. The lens sits at the front of the eye as a protective layer for deeper structures like the cornea. Light must pass through the lens to reach the cornea, which shapes rays of light to land correctly on the retina at the back of the eye. When protein particles stick together on the lens, light is impeded. Vision becomes cloudy. The only way to correct the problem is to replace the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens that contains no proteins and therefore cannot be clouded in the future.
Vision Imbalance after Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the most common ophthalmic procedures performed today. When both eyes have cataracts (which they often don’t), each eye is treated individually. This gives the treated eye time to heal properly and regain optimal vision as it acclimates to the intraocular lens. The separate procedures are usually scheduled 2 to 3 weeks apart. In between the two surgeries, vision may be blurry. This is not uncommon. It is referred to as anisometropia. Cataract surgeons expect it to last only a few days.
Even if a person has lived with cataracts for some time, a vision imbalance can occur after one eye has been relieved of its clouding. This does not indicate that the procedure has been unsuccessful; it may happen because the eyes must work in unison to form vision. Despite clouding caused by cataracts in both eyes, harmony is disrupted by treating one affected eye.
When patients are planning an eye procedure such as cataract removal, knowing what to expect can provide peace of mind. Blurred vision after one cataract surgery should resolve relatively quickly. During the time that vision is affected, patients are encouraged to slow down as much as possible to avoid preventable accidents.
Pasadena Eye Associates provides a wide range of eye care services. To schedule an appointment, call 713.473.5715.