How Optometrists Perform Cataract Surgery

How Optometrists Perform Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are common and so it’s important to know more about this eye disease and how they are removed, even if it means having cataract surgery. You can learn more about cataracts by visiting Cataract surgeries are performed by optometrists or ophthalmologists depending on the complication or level of expertise required. The procedure involved removing the affected lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial one. The eye lens is clear to allow light to pass through and focuses the rays on the retina before the signal is carried by optic nerves to the brain for further interpretation. However, a cataract can cause this lens to become cloudy, which may affect your vision. Below is how optometrists perform cataract surgery.

After you and your optometrist have decided that you need the surgery to improve your vision, you are instructed not to consume any solid or liquid food 12 hours prior to the procedure. The patient is also advised to temporarily stop taking medications that may increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. You should also avoid operating machinery shortly after the procedure and performing other activities that your doctor advises you against.

Cataract surgery is often an outpatient procedure that may take about an hour to perform. First, the optometrist dilates the pupil by placing eye drops in the eye. The patient then receives local anesthetics and perhaps a sedative to relax.

To surgically remove cataracts, an ultrasound probe may be used to break the lens up in readiness for removal. Using a procedure known as phacoemulsification, the surgeon then makes a small incision in the cornea (front part of the eye) and inserts a needle-sized probe into the affected lens substance where you have a cataract. The probe is used to break up and suction out the cataract’s fragments whilst leaving the lens capsule intact to hold the artificial lens. The tiny incision in the cornea is then closed using stitches to end the procedure.

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Another method involves making an incision and removing the affected lens in one piece. Extracapsular cataract extract is sometimes used to make a large incision where phacoemulsification is not a viable option. The optometrist conducting the surgery uses the surgical apparatus to remove the lens’s front capsule, including the cloudy lens comprising the cataract. The far end or back of the capsule is left unaltered to hold the artificial lens used to replace the cloudy one. This procedure is ideal if you have some eye complications. However, this procedure requires stitches because of the large incision made. Once the optometrist has successfully made the incision and removed the cataract, he or she implants the lens into the back end of the lens capsule. After the procedure, patients should expect to see some improvements in their vision after a few days. As the eye heals, vision remains blurry at first before it starts to improve.

Optometrists may have to perform cataract surgery to remove cloudy lenses and replace them with artificial once to improve the patient’s vision. The procedure can be complex and should be performed by either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist because such an eye care professional is trained and licensed to carry out the procedure. You should also consult your eye doctor to decide whether having cataract surgery is the best option for your eye problem.

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