Cataract Surgery Clears Up Cloudy Vision

Nyack, N.Y. July 30, 2013 -- Cataract, the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, is an inevitable part of aging for all people. Fortunately, a short surgical procedure can restore vision loss caused by cataracts, with a 95 percent success rate.

The clouding of the lens blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Some people describe having a cataract as being similar to looking through a dirty car windshield. During Cataract Awareness Month, learn the signs that you may be developing a cataract:

  • Having blurred vision, double vision, or feeling like you have a film over your eyes
  • Feeling as though lights are too dim for reading or other close-up work
  • Needing frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription; the change may not seem to help improve your sight
  • Seeing a milky or yellowish spot in your pupil, which is normally black

If you have any of these signs, visit your eye doctor, who will perform a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will give you eye drops to widen, or dilate, the pupils. You also may be given a test to measure the pressure inside the eye.

If your cataract is interfering with your everyday activities, your doctor will discuss the option of surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. The procedure generally lasts less than an hour, and is almost painless. You will probably be able to go home the same day, but someone will have to drive you home. If you have cataracts in both eyes that need to be removed, the surgery will be performed at separate times.

You may experience itching and mild discomfort after cataract surgery, which should disappear after a day or two. You may be asked to use eye drops for several days after the surgery to help healing and reduce the risk of infection. You will wear an eye shield or glasses to protect the eye. You should be able to return to everyday activities quickly; your doctor will tell you when you can start driving again.

Having a cataract removed can make a significant difference in your vision, and greatly improve your ability to perform daily activities like driving and reading. Being alert to changes in your vision and visiting your eye doctor for regular exams can protect your eyesight.

Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and has partnered with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine providing clinical rotations to third-year medical students. Its mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas.