Cataract Surgery: Risks, Recovery, Costs


A cataract is a condition of the eye, where the lenses in your eye which are normally clear become foggy. Cataracts make it difficult for one to see clearly, this is because for one to see, light passes through a clear lens. The job of the lens is to focus the light in order for your brain and eye to work together and be able to process information into a picture. When one is impaired with a cataract over the lens, your eye can’t focus light in the same way. In severe cases it can lead to complete vision loss, however, it depends on the cataract’s location and size.

A cataract is more common among older people, usually around age 40. But you may not notice any symptoms until after age 60. In rare cases, a child may also be born with a cataract, usually as a form of birth defect. There are factors that increase the risk of getting cataracts, some of which include smoking and regular intake of alcohol. It is important that you abstain from these acts to avoid cataracts.

Cataract surgery is the most effective way to treat cataracts. However, not all cases of cataracts require surgery. If the symptoms are noticed at the early stage before any major damage is done, prescribed glasses can help correct the eyes. But still, the only way to remove a cataract completely is through surgery. Cataract surgery can only be carried out by an ophthalmologist (a doctor that specializes in the eyes).

Cataract surgery is an operation done to remove the cloudy eye lens and replace it with some artificial ones, there are basically two types of cataract surgery procedures [1]. But before cataract surgery is done, your surgeon will run some tests to measure the size and shape of your eye to determine the proper focusing power of your intraocular lens (IOL) [2]. You would also be told not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before the surgery. Most importantly your surgeon would discuss with you the risks of the surgery.