Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are usually closely associated with older age, but can include much more than simply bad vision. Cataracts are a specific condition that is common as you grow older and can require effective surgical intervention by a licensed ophthalmologist.

What are Cataracts?

Your eye works by focusing light into your retina using a crystal-clear lens. When a cataract forms, the lens becomes obscured and you can no longer see clearly through it. Cataracts form when the proteins that make up the lens begin to break down and clump together. Cataracts can affect different areas of the lenses and can even be congenital. Protein breakdown, coupled with natural changes in the lens like less flexibility, less transparency, and increased thickness, results in what we commonly understand as cataracts. This occurs over the course of many years, causing substantial changes in vision.

What causes Cataracts?

Although many people experience cataracts later in life, there are some risk factors that can increase your risk. These include:

  • Excessive sunlight exposure
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive drinking
  • Corticosteroid use (for prolonged periods)
  • Eye surgery
  • Eye injury or inflammation

It’s unknown how to prevent the development of cataracts, but they can be addressed early on with regular eye exams and living a healthy lifestyle.

“ Excellent service. Dr Anh Nguyen really helped me restore my vision. Now I can see better and clear. I am so glad to choose Dr. Anh Nguyen to do my cataract surgery. My relative referred me to Dr. Anh Nguyen initially. Now, I'll tell my other family members and relatives to pay her a visit. Dr. Anh Nguyen is an expert at what she does and the staff here are very friendly and professional. ”

How are Cataracts treated?

The most effective treatment options for cataracts are surgical options. Our ophthalmologists can perform laser cataract surgery to break up cataracts and remove the clouded lens from the eye, replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Often, correction for other vision problems can be performed at the same time as laser cataract surgery by selecting a lens implant that can correct for conditions like astigmatism or presbyopia. Laser cataract surgery is quick, efficient, and requires little downtime.


Schedule an Appointment

Cataracts can often take a toll on your vision, lifestyle, and the way you see the world. During an appointment, our ophthalmologists can accurately diagnose cataracts and recommend your best treatment options. To get started, contact Anh Nguyen Ophthalmology by calling or filling out our online form.


Are you put under anesthesia for cataract surgery?

In most cases, cataract surgery is performed under a combination of local and mild anesthesia. This means that, while you may not be fully unconscious for the procedure, you can still follow instructions from your surgeon.

Are you sitting or lying down during cataract surgery?

Cataract is performed with patients lying down in a reclined position. This is to ensure the accessibility of your eye for your surgeon and your overall comfort.

At what stage should cataracts be removed?

Cataracts can be removed at any stage. They should generally be removed when they begin to interfere with normal activities, such as reading or driving. Most health insurance companies will not cover the procedure until the cataract reaches a stage which impacts quality of life.

Can a cataract be removed too early?

No. Regardless of how old you are, if a cataract is bothering you or affecting your vision, it can be removed. It’s also always better to remove a cataract before it can mature.

Can I eat before a cataract operation?

No. You can’t eat any solid foods or liquids for at least six to twelve hours before the surgery. This is primarily because anesthesia is being used.

Can you wait too long to have cataract surgery?

Waiting too long for cataract surgery can result in negative effects, including a higher risk of complications during surgery and increased lifestyle risks such as accidental falls.

Can you watch TV after cataract surgery?

Most patients can resume watching TV within several hours of surgery. However, some blurriness may occur as your brain and eyes adjust to the new lens.

Do you feel anything during cataract surgery?

No, a local and mild anesthesia is used so you will not feel anything. You will still be awake and able to follow instructions, if necessary, but you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

How do you clean your eye after cataract surgery?

You never want to put anything in your eye right after surgery except for the drops given to you by your doctor. You may gently clean the area around the eye using a tissue.

How long do I have to wear the eye shield after cataract surgery?

You should wear the eye shield while sleeping for at least a week. Your care team will discuss these details with you.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

Recovery after cataract surgery takes an average of four to six weeks.

Is there any reason to delay cataract surgery?

Overall, it is not advised that patients delay cataract surgery. Studies have found that patients who delay cataract surgery for more than six months may experience negative outcomes, including longer healing times or reduced quality of life as the cataract grows.

What are the side effects of cataract surgery?

Side effects after cataract surgery are usually temporary and mild. They may include blurry vision during the healing process, dry eye, glares or halos, and light sensitivity. If you experience more severe side effects, you should notify your doctor immediately.

What is the average age for cataract surgery?

The average age for cataracts to begin to form is around 60-75, but if you’re struggling with cataracts at any age, surgery can be very beneficial.

What is the latest treatment for cataracts?

Laser cataract surgery is considered the most advanced method for treating cataracts. This method offers the best in precision and accuracy for optimal results.

What is the success rate of cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery in the world, and the success rate is incredibly high at over 97%.

What should I avoid after cataract surgery?

After cataract surgery, you must avoid rubbing the eyes, driving, strenuous activities, or applying eye makeup. Your ophthalmologist will give you complete directions to follow after your procedure.

Why do you wear dark glasses after cataract surgery?

For individuals who experience light sensitivity following cataract surgery, sunglasses should be worn to decrease discomfort. This light sensitivity may be caused by eye dryness or inflammation, known as iritis.

How long does cataract surgery take?

With the latest in laser assisted technology, cataract surgery can be completed very quickly if there are no complications or considerations. The surgical step of the procedure can take as little as ten to fifteen minutes, although you’ll need to undergo a short recovery and monitoring period afterwards to allow the sedatives to wear off and ensure you’re safe enough to return home. The length of this stage can vary based on each unique patient.

How long after cataract surgery will my vision be blurry?

After cataract surgery, your vision may be blurry for the first few days before it begins to improve. Youll be asked to wear a protective eyeshield especially at night during this time to protect your eyes and allow for healing. After the first few days, you may notice that your vision is much more vibrant and colorful, since cataracts can produce a muted perception of colors. Laser cataract surgery shortens patients healing time. Laser cataract surgery is a state-of-the-art technology that improves the precision and shortens the healing time for a patient undergoing cataract surgery. Traditionally, cataract surgery involves using blades to create the corneal incisions; using a needle and small forceps to create the opening to the cataract; and using only ultrasound energy to break up the cataract into smaller pieces for safe removal. In contrast, femto-second-assisted cataract surgery uses laser energy to create all of the corneal incisions laser energy to create a circular opening to the cataract; and laser energy to break up the cataract into even smaller pieces. We feel that this laser technology is superior to standard cataract surgery because no human can match the precision of a laser! Laser-assisted cataract surgery is also much gentler on the corneal endothelium i.e. the water pumps of the cornea) which translates into faster patient recovery times. Lastly, astigmatism reduction is more precise using the laser compared to traditional methods using blades. Wait a second, I thought all surgeons used a laser for cataract surgery?Contrary to popular belief, most cataract surgeons dont have access or experience with laser-assisted cataract surgery, in fact most are ultrasound-based. The difference is that the laser provides our patients with computer-controlled precision for their cataract surgery. It automates some of the most challenging steps of refractive cataract surgery. This femtosecond laser replaces the traditional hand-held blade to optimize all incisions for enhanced, reproducible surgical results .In traditional non-laser basic cataract surgery, the surgeon makes incisions and removes the cataract using surgical instruments and blades. However, during laser cataract surgery, several of the most critical steps of the surgical process are performed using an image-guided femtosecond laser.

How much does cataract surgery cost?

The cost of your cataract surgery can depend on factors like whether one or both eyes will be treated, the types of lenses used (to also correct astigmatism or presbyopia, for example), and whether you opt for laser techniques. In many cases, basic cataract surgery is covered by medical insurance, but you’ll receive a full estimate of your costs during a consultation with our ophthalmologists.

Can cataract surgery be done on both eyes at the same time?

Only one eye is operated on at a time. Once that eye heals, you can proceed to operate on the other eye. If only one eye is being affected enough by a cataract to make you want it removed, you can do surgery in that eye alone.


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