As our eyes age, they may gradually buildup cataracts, an eye condition in which the lens becomes cloudy or opaque, causing vision reduction. The lens focuses light onto the retina so images appear clear. A cataract clouds the lens and slowly distorts eyesight over time. While not painful, cataracts can create blurry vision. Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Dim, blurry or yellowed vision
- Difficulty reading with a need for a brighter light
- Struggling to see TV or computer screens
- Difficulty driving at night
- Difficulty seeing distant objects
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Change in how the eyes perceive colors
Cataract surgery treats cataracts and helps restore clear vision. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis; each eye is operated on separate days.
During the same-day surgical procedure, an ophthalmologist removes the lens through a tiny incision in the eye using phacoemulsification, a procedure in which an ultrasonic handpiece buzzes the cataract into smaller pieces that are suctioned from the eye. The ophthalmologist replaces the cataract with a clear, artificial lens. The outpatient procedure typically takes an hour or less to perform. Recovery is time is very quick and most patients notice immediate results.
Watch & Learn
Brookings native Nicki Brooks explains the benefits of the quality, local care she received with her recent cataract surgery. Keith Corbett, Cheryl Huyck and Sarantis Theodosopulous also share their life-changing experiences with cataract surgery.