Glaucoma Patients and Cataract Surgery
Routine eye examinations can reveal many things, such as when a glaucoma patient has cataracts. A cataract occurs when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. It is considered a normal part of the aging process, but surgery is usually needed to prevent vision loss and blindness. Fortunately, replacement of the affected lens with an IOL is very safe and effective.
Surgery is necessary when patients experience glare and blurred vision that keeps them from doing everyday tasks. Perhaps a person is unable to drive a car, read, play cards, play golf, or play computer games. The glare from sunlight can make it difficult to do activities outside.
Glaucoma and Cataracts
When glaucoma is involved, the issue is not always as straightforward as simple cataract surgery. The following can affect how a cataract is approached in a glaucoma patient:
- The amount of damage to the optic nerve and visual field
- The number of medications the patient is taking for glaucoma
- If that eye has previously received glaucoma surgery
- Intraocular pressure before and after surgery
- Glaucoma medication tolerance
Your eye surgeon wants to perform the cataract surgery when a patient’s overall vision is most likely to improve. The stage and nature of your glaucoma are taken into consideration, as well as the treatment that is being administered.
Cataract surgery can be difficult to perform when a patient has glaucoma. For instance, you may have a small pupil that won’t dilate properly, making it difficult for your surgeon to see the inside of your eye. Long-term eye drop use and inflammation are causes of constricted pupils. Another issue is that glaucoma can be associated with what is called exfoliation syndrome: the result of flaky deposits in the front of your eye that cause your eye’s drainage system to become clogged. This causes eye pressure to build, which can damage the optic nerve. The flakes weaken the lens connectors, making the lens unstable during surgery.
Because glaucoma and cataracts may exist at the same time, the cataract surgeon may wait as long as possible before removing the lens. However, a lens with an advanced cataract can be problematic during the removal process. It takes a skilled surgeon to perform this surgery so that the patient can experience the best result.
Results of Successful Surgery
When surgery is successful, a patient will be able to see much better than he or she would otherwise. This can result in a return to normal activities. Most patients are able to drive again or go outside for a walk without worry. Quality of life is significantly improved, which always our goal at Pinke Eye Center.
You should always schedule an eye examination if you notice any problems with your vision. Be sure to also come in for your regular check-ups, as eye diseases like glaucoma often present no symptoms. Call Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT today for your cataract or glaucoma surgery consultation!