When it comes to surgery on your eyes, pain is a top concern. Everyone has gotten poked in the eye at some point! It hurts, so why would you want to do something like it on purpose?
Cataract surgery couldn’t be further from getting poked in the eye! It is performed under localized anesthetic. This means that your eye is completely numb during the surgery. There is no pain experienced because your eyes are numb thanks to numbing eye drops. Keep reading to learn more about why cataract surgery does not hurt!
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
To remove your cataract it is necessary to remove your entire eye’s lens. This surgery is a “refractive lens exchange”. A refractive lens exchange occurs by first creating a flap in the cornea of your eye. This is like LASIK. The lens of the eye is then broken apart. Either a laser or a sonic device with high-frequency ultrasound performs this step. The pieces are then removed using suction.
As you are not able to see without a lens, an artificial lens is then placed inside your eye. This artificial lens is an “intraocular lens”, which is often shortened to “IOL”. The IOL gets inserted exactly where your natural lens used to be. It can also get inserted in front of the iris under certain circumstances.
After the IOL is in, the flap will be closed. Stitches are not necessary to keep it closed, since the tissue reattaches. This happens during the healing process. During this time, it is critical to keep your eyes safe. The corneal flap is very prone to tearing, and if it does, it could lead to serious complications.
Selecting An IOL
IOLs do more than replace your natural lens. They can actually correct for previous refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. You can also customize your IOL by choosing a different type of IOL or method.
There are 3 basic types of IOLs:
- Monofocal IOLs are the standard choice. These IOLs are less expensive than other options and easier to adjust to. Monofocal IOLs mean that you will still need to wear glasses to see at other distances.
- Multifocal IOLs are a little bit more advanced. They correct for both near and far distance, making them a popular choice of IOL. Like the monofocal IOL, there is still discrepancy in vision with distance shifts.
- Accommodating IOLs make up for this by moving inside the eye like how your natural lens does. With an accommodating IOL, shifting distances is not a problem.
Another option for IOL vision correction is a method called monovision. In monovision, one eye gets corrected for up close eyesight. The other eye is then corrected for distance eyesight.
This allows you to switch between dominant eyes. With monovision, you can see well at all focusing lengths. Patients may need to give it some time before they are successful!
To find out which IOL works best for you, set up a cataract screening with Dr. Pinke in Shelton, Connecticut today!