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Everything You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery

Are your cataracts beginning to cause some vision problems? Here’s why it’s important to visit your eye doctor for regular check-ups and what to expect from cataract surgery.

A natural symptom of aging, cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye, typically affecting patients who are aged 60 or over. While they tend to develop slowly and without symptoms in the early stages, as they progress, vision problems may become more noticeable.

Some of the great benefits of opting for cataract surgery include:

  • Higher quality of life
  • Better nighttime vision
  • A reduction in falls
  • Greater enjoyment of hobbies and other social activities
  • More independence

Pre and Post Cataract Surgery Care at our Calgary Eye Clinic

At Market Mall Optometry, our qualified and experienced eye doctors provide comprehensive pre and post cataract surgery care, including dilated eye exams to diagnose any changes in your eyesight.

If a cataract is discovered, and the clouding is disrupting your vision, our eye doctors can refer you to a trusted and respected ophthalmologist.

Want to know more?

Cataract Management


What to Expect From Cataract Surgery

Has your eye doctor recommended that you have cataract surgery? You’re not alone! Everyone develops cataracts as they age, and these will eventually reduce your quality of vision. The good news? Cataract surgery is a very safe, painless, and effective way to restore the quality of your eyesight.

If you are considering cataract surgery, here is some information to help you better prepare for the treatment and recovery:

What is Cataract Surgery and How is it Performed?

Cataract surgery is where your old lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, allowing you to see better. Typically, you will be awake for this procedure and a numbing medicine will be applied to help you relax and remain pain-free.

Your eye doctor will use a special microscope to view your eye and make a small incision to remove the lens.

Depending on your cataract, the lens can be removed in one of the following ways:

  • Phacoemulsification: The eye doctor will use a tool that produces sound waves to break up the cataract into small pieces, which are then suctioned out. This procedure requires a very small incision.
  • Extracapsular extraction: A small tool is used to remove the cataract, mostly in one piece, and it requires a larger incision.
  • Laser surgery: During this procedure, your eye doctor will use laser energy to make the incision and soften the cataract, which will then be suctioned out. Using the laser is often more accurate and speeds up recovery.

Cataract surgery typically lasts for less than 30 minutes. If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor may suggest waiting at least 1-2 weeks between each surgery.

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Get Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts worsen gradually, but if it’s come to a point where they’re preventing you from performing day-to-day tasks and interfering with your quality of life, then it’s time to consider surgery.

To know if you’re ready, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you afraid to drive at night because of poor vision?
  • Is blurred vision preventing you from doing household chores or safely taking your medication?
  • Are you experiencing a loss of independence due to failing vision?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, then cataract surgery can help you enjoy life and independence again.

Do You Need Cataract Surgery

What is the Healing Period Like After Cataract Surgery?

Uncomplicated cataract surgery usually takes no more than 10 minutes to perform, but immediately after the treatment, you will need to rest in a recovery area until you are less groggy from the anesthesia. This can take between 30-60 minutes.

In addition:

  • You must have someone available to drive you home after the procedure.
  • You will be given a pair of sunglasses to wear on your trip home to protect your eyes from the glare.
  • A protective shield will be placed over your eye, and depending on the advice you receive from your eye doctor, you can remove this after several hours.
  • You will have to place this shield over your eye at night, or during naps, for protection, at least for several days.
  • Don’t be worried if your vision seems cloudy or blurry when you first remove the shield. It will take time for your visual system to adapt to the intraocular lens.
  • Some patients develop red eyes due to temporary damage to blood vessels. As the eye heals, this redness will disappear.
  • Most patients report clear vision within several hours of the surgery, but each person heals differently. It could be up to two weeks before you see images in their sharpest focus.
  • A follow-up appointment should be made for the day after your surgery to ensure there are no complications.

Remember: If you fail to notice any improvement in blurry vision or you feel significant discomfort and pain in the days that follow your surgery, you must report this to your eye doctor immediately.

Call Today

To find out more about the cataract management services at our eye clinic, and how our eye doctors can help keep your vision healthy and clear, contact us at 403-286-4884 or book a contact lens fitting today.


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