With over 1.5 million cataract surgeries being conducted in the US annually, it is one of the safest and effective operations. It involves the removal of the natural eye lens that has opacified. It occurs due to the metabolic changes in the eye's crystalline lens fiber. This results in dull color vision, difficulty with glare, increased nearsightedness, blurred vision or total loss of vision.
A study compiled by the American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that cataract affects approximately 22 million Americans aged 40 or more. Further, more than half the American population gets affected by the condition as they reach 80 years of age. The direct medical cost associated with the treatment is approximately $ 6.8 billion per year.
Types of Cataract Surgery
A cataract surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist, who replaces the natural lens of the eye with artificial intraocular lens. The operation, performed under local anesthesia, has very low complication rate. Over 90% of these operations successfully restore better vision. The three main techniques of cataract operation are:
A small incision is made near the cornea or on the surface of the eye with the help of an operating microscope. This is followed by the insertion of a thin ultrasound probe in the eye. The probe dissolves the cloudy lens (phacoemulsify) with the help of ultrasonic vibrations. It then auctions out the tiny fragmented pieces of the lens. After the removal, an artificial lens is placed inside the eye. The whole process is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. It involves minimal sedation, no stitches and no after surgery eye patch.
This procedure is used for treating advanced stages of the condition that can not be cured with phacoemulsification. A 10 to 12 mm long incision is made inside the sclera or cornea. The larger incision allows the cataract to be removed without getting fragmented. After their removal, an artificial lens is positioned inside the eye. However, the visual recovery is comparatively slower than phacoemulsification.
Intracapsular Cataract Surgery
This surgical technique involves the removal of the complete lens and the surrounding capsule. The intraocular lens is placed in front of the iris. The technique is used very rarely due to the high risk of complication. However, it can be effective in several cases of trauma.
With the latest medical and surgical advances, cataract operation has become one of the most successful and sophisticated procedures. To know more about the condition and surgery, visit 2020eyesite.com. Laser Eye Center has been providing effective vision correction solutions since 1992.