Cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery is used to treat the clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye (cataract).

Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

Cataract surgery is performed to treat cataracts. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.

When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended. For example, doctors may recommend cataract surgery if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

In most cases, waiting to have cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever.

When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:

  • Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
  • Do you have problems reading or watching television?
  • Is it difficult to cook, shop, do yardwork, climb stairs or take medications?
  • Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
  • Do you have difficulty seeing faces clearly?
  • Do bright lights make it more difficult to see?

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