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Educate Yourself: Cataract Surgery

The facts

A cataract is a cloudy lens inside the eye.  The natural human lens is clear, and serves as one of the crucial focusing elements of the eye. This clear lens loses its transparency with time, leading to a reduction in vision, brightness, and color.  Most adults develop some degree of cataract as they grow older, leading to a slow deterioration in the quality of vision. 

Cataract surgery is indicated when a cataract is causing an unacceptable loss of the quality of vision.  Fortunately, modern cataract surgery has become a procedure that is highly successful, rapidly performed, and virtually pain-free for the majority of patients. During surgery, the surgeon removes the cataract using ultrasonic wave energy (phacoemulsification).  A foldable lens implant is then inserted into the eye to replace the cloudy lens. The implant materials are safe and made to last a lifetime.  All of this is done though a microscopic incision so small that it usually does not require a suture.

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