What is a cataract?
A cataract is the cloudiness of your natural lens that sits behind your pupil. The most common cause is aging, which causes the protein of the lens to harden and turn yellow.
What are the symptoms of a significant cataract?
- Blurry vision, especially at night or in dim light.
- Seeing “halos” when driving at night.
- Lost contrast, objects appear dull or yellowish.
When should one consider having cataract surgery?
- Vision is not good enough for daily functions such as driving and reading.
- Vision cannot be corrected by changing the prescription for one’s glasses.
What is IOL measurement? Why is it done?
An IOL measurement is done before a surgery to determine the power of the intraocular lens that will be used to replace the natural lens suffering from cataract condition.
There are two options for IOL measurement:
- Ultrasound Technique – This is covered by OHIP and works well. The result is not as accurate as the IOL Master.
- IOL Master – This is the most advanced technique done with a laser measurement. The measurements are extremely accurate. IOL Master measurement is not currently covered by OHIP.
How is the cataract surgery performed?
This day surgery usually consists of:
- Anesthetic drops are placed into the eye to “freeze” it.
- A small incision (less than 2.8mm) is made at the edge of the cornea.
- An ultrasound tip (2.5mm) painlessly liquefies the cataract, which is then vacuumed out.
- An intraocular lens is folded and inserted into the same initial incision.
After the surgery, the patient stays in the recovery room for 5-10 minutes and is given post surgery instructions before returning home. Please make sure someone will be there to assist you home.
Are there potential cataract surgery complications?
Over 99% of Dr. Lu’s patients do not experience postoperative complications. However, like any other surgery, there are potential risks. The majority of these rare complications can be treated.
Most Commonly Asked Post Cataract Questions
Why do I see “small black specks flying around” and then they disappear?
Floaters are usually small moving specks in the vitreous. The vitreous is a large gel-like material filling your eyeball. They are visible especially in bright light and against bright background such as a white wall or the sky. They follow movement of the eye. They may be irregularly shaped – “bug shapes, dots, cobwebs, threads. They are normally found in approximately one-third of the population, particularly in myopic and people over 40 years ago (at this age, the vitreous gel start to liquefy)
Floaters after cataract surgery may be noticed as the patient was not able to see the floaters before surgery because of cloudy cataracts. As soon as the patient’s vision becomes clear, he or she starts seeing floaters as well. Most patients recall they had seen floaters in the past before their cataract surgeries.
It may take a few weeks or months. Even if they do not go away, you will get used to them and not be bothered by them eventually.
When do I need to worry about those Floaters?
Rarely, floaters may indicate small holes, bleeding or other retinal pathology. If you suddenly see lots of floaters, persistent flashing lights, missing part of vision or sudden loss of vision, call your surgeon for an appointment.
Why do I feel something like an eye lash In my operated eye and how long It will last?
With a typical cataract surgery, there are small incisions (cut) of roughly 1-2.5mm. These Incisions are on the top part of your cornea. After surgery, your upper eye lid may just sit on that incision, which will cause Irritation and discomfort (just like when your shirt rubs against a fresh skin cut) In addition, every time you blink your eye, your eye lid will rub the cut again and cause some discomfort.
Lots of cataract patients also have preexisting dry and irritating eye, which will compound the irritation from the surgical incision. Most times, this discomfort lasts 2-4 weeks. Once the incision heals, the irritation will significantly subside. However, if you have existing dry eyes, you may have periodic irritation. Taking natural tears drops will ease this discomfort.
Why I am light sensitive and tearing after cataract surgery?
Just as when a curtain opens, your operated eye is going to be suddenly exposed to lots of lights. You will find light difficult to bear, but you will slowly get use to this new level of light entering your eye. Over 4-6 weeks, the light sensitivity and/or tearing will significantly reduce. At 2-4 weeks post cataract surgery, wearing sunglass outside will help. After 4-6 weeks, if you are still tearing or light sensitive, ask your doctor to check again.