CAN CATARACTS RETURN AFTER SURGERY?

Dr. Jim Martin 06/13/2016

older-man-at-eye-doctor.pngCataract surgery typically involves an outpatient procedure lasting no more than an hour. It is virtually painless, and the healing process isn't lengthy. It's a very common procedure as cataracts are often associated with the natural aging process, which means a majority of people will develop cataracts over time (especially between the ages of 40 and 70).

When Is Cataract Surgery Necessary?

Generally speaking, cataract surgery is recommended when impaired vision begins to affect your everyday activities, such as reading, driving, watching television, and performing your job. Your eye doctor will help you make that decision.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery involves a procedure in which the eye's natural lens is removed when it becomes clouded and no longer sends sharp images to the retina. The most common type of cataract surgery involves making a small incision into the side of the cornea, then inserting a tiny probe that sends out ultrasound waves that break up the lens. An artificial lens is then implanted to replace it. The second type of cataract surgery involves a longer incision so that the lens can be removed in one piece.

Can I Develop Another Cataract After Surgery?

The answer is no. Once a cataract has been removed and an artificial lens is implanted in its place, so a cataract cannot grow back. During cataract surgery, the entire cataract is removed. But the capsule that held the cataract is untouched and remains to provide support for the new lens. However, after surgery, some patients may develop a condition known as posterior capsular opacification, which is also known as a “secondary cataract.”

What Is A Secondary Cataract?

In some patients, a condition referred to as secondary cataract, or after-cataract, may develop. This can develop months or even years after cataract surgery. It occurs when the lens capsule, which wasn't touched by surgery, becomes cloudy and impairs vision. While you may feel like your cataract has returned, that's not the case; it's due to cell growth on the back of your lens.

Can A Secondary Cataract Be Treated?

Secondary cataracts can be treated simply. The procedure involves a laser technique in which a small hole is made in the clouded capsule to allow light through. It's a painless outpatient procedure that usually takes five minutes.

If you have more questions about cataracts or other vision issues, contact Broome Optical in Amarillo for an appointment today.

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