If you have cataracts, then you will most likely be rejected for laser eye treatment. This is because cataracts are located inside the eye so laser eye treatment will not be able to improve your vision even if you have the operation. Even standard laser eye surgeries like PRK and Lasik cannot fix this eye condition since these procedures only involve reshaping the cornea, which means that the picture formed on the retina is still blurred since the cataracts are still on the way. Consequently, eyeglasses and spectacles cannot be used to solve this problem as well.
To begin with, cataract occurs when the natural lens inside the eye becomes opaque. This often happens if you have prolonged exposure to UV rays, which is also the same reason why it commonly manifests with old age. Naturally, the longer you’ve lived, the more UV light or sun rays you’re exposed to. Cataracts can also exist from birth, called congenital cataract, and they can also be caused by eye injuries and prolonged consumption to certain medications like steroids.
For someone who does not have cataracts, the light passes through a transparent pathway from the cornea to the lens and on to the retina. With the right focus, the images seen on the back of the eye should be crystal clear. People with cataracts, on the other hand, will see blurred images because the pathways are obscure and opaque so the light that enters is scattered, resulting in fuzzy images on the retina.
To achieve clear vision with cataract surgery, two processes are involved:
- Removing the Lens
To extract the lens, a process called phacoemulsification is required. Through a miniscule incision made on the cornea, a handheld instrument with an ultrasonic vibrating head is introduced into the eye. The tip of this device vibrates at a high frequency to dissolve the crystalline lens inside the eye. A small portion becomes available as small pieces of the lens are suctioned out of the eye. This is where the artificial lens will be implanted.
- Inserting the IOL or Intraocular Lens
The IOL or intraocular lens will then be inserted into that area where the crystalline lens used to be. It will first be introduced in a rolled-up form and will only be unrolled once it has been properly positioned behind the iris – the spot where the natural crystalline lens used to be. The IOL is equipped with the appropriate prescription to make sure that eyeglasses will no longer be necessary after the procedure
As for post-operative care, patients will be glad to know that no stitches are required since the procedure only involves small incisions which are performed under local anesthesia. Overnight stays at the clinic or hospital are also unnecessary because the eyes heal naturally too.