Correcting and Clarifying Your Vision: An Optometry Blog

What Are Cataracts And How Do I Get Rid Of Them

by Troy Simmmons

Cataracts are fairly common across older Australians, with almost everyone who reaches the age of 80 getting some level of cataracts. It is also not impossible to get cataracts at a much younger age, with babies even found to have cataracts. While glasses might help for a time, the only way to restore vision is to have cataract removal surgery by an ophthalmologist. Luckily, this is a fairly simple procedure that is done thousands of times every day across the world. If you have been told you have cataracts and need them removed, then you are probably confused as to what they are, so here is a helpful outline.

What Are Cataracts?

When you get older, it is common for your vision to become cloudy, almost as if you have a veil over your eyes at all times. Cataracts are what causes this blurry vision, and they form for a number of different reasons, the most common one being age. However, they can also form in younger people if you are in an at-risk group, including those with older relatives that have cataracts, people who work outside all day, smokers and those who have had some sort of trauma to the eye before. Cataracts are non-fatal but they can get to the point where you can't see anything at all and are, for all intents and purposes, blind.

How Are Cataracts Cured?

The only holistic treatment of cataracts is to surgically remove them. An ophthalmologist is the expert you want on the case, as they are doctors who primarily specialise in eye surgery. The actual procedure itself is quite simple: you will be given some anaesthetic to numb the area but you will be kept awake. Then, the ophthalmologist will make some very delicate incisions and remove the lens that is clouded with cataracts. Then, a simple plastic lens is inserted, and that is it; you're all finished! If it sounds simple and without much risk, that's because it is, there is really nothing to worry about. 

What Happens After Surgery?

After surgery, your ophthalmologist might give you some additional pain medication and schedule some check-ups to monitor your progress. If you have any swelling or redness around your eyes, you should get into contact with your ophthalmologist straight away. In almost all cases, cataract surgery is successful and there are little to no side effects. That is why even very old patients can undergo cataract surgery with little risk. Don't be nervous; you are in good hands and undergoing a relatively simple and safe procedure that will radically change your life for the better!