What are cataracts?

Cataracts are one of the most common age-­related eye conditions, resulting when protein cells clump together within your natural lens and block light entering the your eye, resulting in distorted vision. An up­-to­-date glasses prescription and ample lighting can help temporarily, but surgery is the only permanent solution. If you suffer from cataracts, El Paso Eye Surgeons can offer you outstanding surgical treatment using sophisticated techniques and intraocular lenses (IOLs) to restore your vision. Our advanced technology and experienced surgeons can safely restore your vision and improve your quality of life. Don’t wait any longer to overcome this treatable condition.  Schedule a cataracts consultation with us today.

Cataracts symptoms and Diagnosis

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Vision loss is the most common symptom of cataracts. Typically this occurs very slowly, so patients may not realize they have cataracts until the condition has become advanced. Other symptoms can include:

  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Difficulties with night vision
  • Double vision
  • Colors appearing less vibrant

Fortunately, cataracts are easy to diagnose. Your doctor may use a standard vision test, or a retinal or slit lamp exam to check your iris, lens, and cornea.

Cataract Surgery

By replacing a compromised crystalline lens with an IOL, your eye surgeon can help you to see more clearly. Depending on the IOL you choose, it may also reduce or eliminate your need for prescription eyewear.

During your surgery, the doctor will first administer a local anesthetic. He will then create a tiny incision, granting access to the lens. Next, ultrasound waves will break the clouded lens into tiny pieces. A special suction device will then vacuum the pieces out of the eye, through the incisions. Your doctor will then place the IOL. Performed on millions of patients every year, the cataract surgery procedure is extremely safe, while the recovery is fast and equally safe. You can expect to return to activity and work soon after surgery. For the first several days after surgery, you will need to avoid strenuous activities, and should use medicated eye drops for several weeks, as instructed by your doctor.

If you have cataract surgery performed on both eyes, your doctor will typically wait several weeks between the procedures. Thanks to advanced technology, patients who have undergone LASIK (link to lasik page) in the past can undergo cataract surgery without compromising the effects of refractive surgery.

IOLs

At El Paso Eye Surgeons, we offer these types of IOL:

  • Monofocal: Monofocal IOLs provide vision correction at only one distance. With monofocal IOLs, most patients will continue to wear glasses after surgery.
  • Multifocal: These lenses correct vision at varying distances, and can often reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.
  • Toric: This type of lens can effectively treat astigmatism, a condition that results when your cornea is irregularly shaped.

Dr. Gulbas or Dr. Gallardo will discuss the various types of IOLs at your initial consultation and help you choose the lens that provides you with the greatest benefit.

Regain Your Clear Vision

If your vision has been compromised by cataracts, we can help you. Contact El Paso Eye Surgeons today to learn more about cataract surgery and schedule your appointment.

How to Achieve a Smooth Recovery after Cataract Surgery

After cataract surgery, it is common to experience blurry or cloudy vision as well as mild discomfort. It is important to rest for the first few days and avoid putting extra pressure on your eye. With proper care, most side effects should resolve within a week and your eye should be completely healed in one month. The team at  El Paso Eye Surgeons in El Paso TX can provide you with detailed instructions to guide you through your cataract surgery recovery. We can recommend steps that will minimize your risk of complications and promote a speedy recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

Though surgery often lasts no more than 15 minutes, you should expect to rest in the recovery area for about 30 minutes to 1 hour for monitoring. You will need to arrange for a ride home, as the effects of anesthesia as well as impaired vision will hinder your ability to drive safely. When you leave the facility, make sure to wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB filters to protect your eyes from bright light.

Common Side Effects

During the healing period, it is normal for patients to experience:

  • Redness
  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Itching
  • Mild discomfort

Most side effects should subside within a week.

What to Avoid During Recovery

To avoid developing an infection or injuring your eyes after surgery, you should take certain precautions. Make sure to cover your eye with a protective shield for a few days after the procedure. This can help to block irritants such as dust, dirt, bacteria, and debris. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes, and always wash your hands before touching your eyelids or under­-eye area. Throughout your recovery, it is important to administer any antibiotic or anti­-inflammatory eye drops as directed.

Make sure to wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB filters to protect your eyes from bright light.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic or anti-­inflammatory eye drops, which can minimize your risk of infection.

Warning Signs

Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to improve eyesight. Almost 90 percent of patients experience a positive outcome and fewer than 2 percent have serious sight-threatening issues. Though rare, post-surgical complications can occur.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Vision loss
  • Persistent pain
  • Bright flashes or floaters
  • Excessive redness

If you experience any unusual symptoms, you should contact our staff ass soon as possible to schedule an appointment.